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Full text of "Wordeater"

WORDEATE£ 




To get a submission printed in tl i 
issue, four of the six people on she 
staff had to vote for acceptance. For 
the a-wurd winners, only John Stobart 
is responsible. 



Kim Baxa Judy Belfield 
John Bertoletti Shelbia Chandler 
Marguerite Planigan 

John Stobart 





Prose 

* $25 to hm Overcast! 

Poetry 

* $25 to Judy Belt Bold 



en 



Artists whose cover designs are 
accepted for an issue are usually 
awarded $10 each for front and back 
covers, or a total of $20. An 
anonymous artist submitted the 
covers for this issue. We thank 
you, Anonymous, but we are unable 
to award. you the $20. 



Manuscripts or cover desi 
for WORDEATER kg must be 
submitted to John Stobart 
in room C-1069 by: 

September 21, 198U 

Manuscripts will not be 
returned and SHOULD BE 
TYPED . 




All copyrights are retainer 
by the authors, and material 
may not be reprinted without 
their permission. 



NEXT TWO DEADLINES 



September 21, 198U 
November 21, 198U 



Nasi*'**'* 







p 



UE OF CONTENTS 



N 



Judy Belfield 
Shelbia Chandler 
Valerie Randin 
Lauren LeDuc 
Lynne M. Gloecknerf^ 
Judy Belfield 
Julian Mentor 
Yolanda Wolz 
John Q. Public 
Peggy Marti no 
Peggy Martino 
Judy Belfield 
| Judy Belfield 
John Bertoletti 
Yolanda Wolz 
Peggy Martino 
John Bertoletti 
Judy Belfield 
'Jcftin Bertoletti 
Khapp 




\ \L 



\ Lynne M. Gloeckner. 
* Judy Belfield 

John Bertoletti 

Judy Belfield 

Judy Belfield 

Lauren LeDuc 

Mareia Ballun 

Yolanda Wolz 

Lauren. LeDuc 

Judy Belfield 

Shelbia Chandler - 

AriQTxyniOUS - 

Lauren LeDuc 
Lauren LeDuc 
Lauren LeDuc 
John Q, Public 
Judy Belfield 
Len Overeash 
Sheika a Chandler 
John Bertoletti 
Liz Khapp 
Lauren LeDuc 
Shelbia Chandler 
John Q. Public 
Judy Belfield 

iren LeDu.c 
Judy Belfield 
John Stobart 




Poets. ............ 

I Have To Write A i-'oem. 
Rita The- Raindrop. ...... 

The Glorious Flower. .... 

The Wilted Bouquet 

Another Rhapsody. ....... 

Not To Set The World On 3 
Asthma. Attack* . . . 

Acidic Pain 

One Can Learn .To Live With 
Things Have Got To Change. 
Beginning Again. ........... 

Stream of Subconscious. . . . 

Those Freaky Concepts. .... 

Reality 101. 

Time— It Will Never Stand Still, 

Saturday Night Young. 

Drinking Buddies. 

Arctic iDanc ing «,«-.- 

I Need You. ............. 

Why Is. Everyone Russian?, 
Discrimination: A State Of Mind, 
And It '"'a All Such 
Hope And Horror . . . 
Gods .............. 

orJlX-LCv. ........... .4 

Confessions. ...... 

Memories .......... 

The Voice, ........ 

Another Greak Awakening, 

Billy ' s Prayer . . . 

Broken Bones And Other. Relations!': 

A Sister. ........ 

A Mother ......... 




: 



The Hidden Meaning, 

The Secret .......... * v . . . 

Spotting A Murder. ...... 

I Never Even Saw Your Face 
Synthetic Sight . . . . .•> . . . 

Weird Sights At The F. F 

Ha-Ha-Ha ....,...,,,, 

I Knew She Wouldn't Believe Me 

Open Eyes /Bright Skies. 

Back To The Point 

Stageplay. \ ........... 

The End, Of 'The ldne.> ►>-. 

Victory. 



.5 

i.6 
16 



7 



Judy Belfield 



POETS 

They might "be crazy 

with their visions 

and coinings of words. 

Certainly rhyme-time 

and created worlds 

are symptoms 

ill psychiatrists recognize. 

So what separates the versifier 

from the psychotic? 

Perhaps he is anchored to reality 

more satisfactorily 

than those who've taken the leap . 

Wbsask a poet what reality is, 
then wonder about the anchor. 



/ 



Valerie Randin 



RITA THE RAINDROP 



Shelbia Chandler 



I RAVE TO WRITE A POEM 

I have to write a poem 
But I'm not sure I . know how 
I'd rather write it later 
But they ' .say it must "be now 

I've never written poetry 

I'm not sure how to start 

The only thing I'm sure of 

Is that it must come from the heart 

I have to write a poem 
But I don t know what to write 
Should I write about the world 
In the early morning light? 

There are many things to write abou 1 - 
Which sublects suit me best? 
Should I speak of lovely forests 
And of sunsets in the west? 

I'm really trying 
But it's so hard to write 
I search for solutions 
There are none in sight 



Once on a very lazy day 3 I had a 
memorable experience. I sat, sad and lone- 
ly, at a window and watched the rain pour 
down. I studied my mother's red rose bush 
very carefully. It was covered with beauti- There's nothing to it 
ful raindrops. The drops glistened of all Maybe I just 
kinds of colors. But one raindrop stood out Don't want to do it 
from all the rest. 

Curiously, I looked at it. It was a 
girl raindrop. She glimmered and laughed. 
Wow! The raindrop laughed! Then she 
smiled at me. The beautiful raindrop that 
glistened of purply purple, pitty pat pink, 
root in' toot in' red and green green smiled 
at me! I smiled back and waved. 

All of the sudden, I had an idea. I 
went to the kitchen, got a small glass, then 
'■^pulled on my raincoat". I went outside. T here 
I saw the lovely raindrop that glistened of 
purply purple, pitt^-pat pink, toot in' 
rootin' red and green green. I put the glass 



Everyone says 



In fact I know that 
That's for true 
Eut this is it 
The. poem. -is through. 

ran to the window and looked out. It 
was raining again. I looked at my mo- 
ther's rose bush and there on the 
"biggest rose was the raindrop. 

She smiled and glistened. .hat 
a lovely sight. Once ~~ 



under the rose petal the raindrop was on, 



then led of purely purple, pitty-pat J ink, 



I shook the rose. The colorful raindrop fell 
into the small glass. I ran into the house. 

Once I was in the house, I studied the 
glistening purply purple, pitty-pat pink, 
Rootin* rootin' red, green green raindrop. 
Something terrible was happening! The 
raindrop colore were different. The purple 
wasn't so purply. The pink wasn't as pitty- 
pat as before. The red wasn't very toot in 
rootin, and the green wasn't green at all, 
and the raindrop wasn't smiling anymore. 

I set the glass with the raindrop in 
it beside my bed that night, before I went to 
sleep. 

The next morning I checked the raindrop 
to see if the beautiful colors had come back 
into her. She was gone! I rubbed the sleep 
from my eyes and looked again. No raindrop. 
Tha beautiful raindrop was really gone. I 



tootir/ rootin' red and gresn green, 
smiled as I watched her play and lav.. 
I had an idea. I slipped on some boots 
and ran outside with my small glass. 
When I got to the rose bush, I saw the 
raindrop look more beautiful tha: 
ever did before. She glimmered of the 
purpliets of purples, the pitty-pattesl 
of pink, thetootin' rootin' est of 
reds and the greenest of grecs. I 
remembered what happened bef. re when 
I put her in the glass. I realized the 
raindrop would never be as pr-tty in 
the ;;;lass as it was on the ros P 3tn } ; ""- 
So I whispered to the raindrop, "You'r* 
beautiful. Too bad we can't be friend* 
Then the raindrop whispero I bpski 
"We can be friends. Leave me in Jdw 
sun on this rose petal, so I car >e 

(continued 



-1- 



Rita The Raindrop, continued 



"beautiful for your and glisten purply purple, out at the window at Rita. She smiled 



pitty-pat pink, tootin' rootin' red and 
green green." 

I told her my name was ^in&y and she 
told me her name was Rita. 

I rushed hack into the house and looked 

******** 



and played. She was really happy. 
My new friend, Rita the Raindro~, was 
really happy. And so was I. 



Judy Belfield 



Lauren LeDuc 



THE GLORIOUS FLOWER 

v 

X 

Mud — -spring is mud 

And rain— -spring is rain 

And crocuses—they're so simple 

And pure and xr '~ 5 - 

How can they come up 

Amid snow showers and cold 

How can they defy nature 

And say to the world 

"Quit it, winter, 

I'm coming whether you like it or not 

I'm going to be beautiful anyway rt 

Hefw glorious a tiny flower can be 

To defy all that mess of a spring 

I 

******** 

Lynne M. Gloeckner 



MOTHER RHAPSODY 

Blue down -*--— 
Gershwin and me. 
On my back floating 
in piano music, 
sea-wave melody 
taking me under . . . 
me and water and George 
on Valentine's Day blue. 
Sometimes I think 
it ! s only me here— 
reach cut with blue arms 
and touch nothing. 
In my ears 
a blue piano sea . . . 

I want to sleep. 

******** 



Julian Mentor 



/ 



THE WILTED BOUQUET 



The spring air warmed us , 
as we played amongst my flowers. 
You picked them gently, 
wanitng to only bask in the sun. 
and enjoy their sweet nectar. 

/ith every caress my perfume became more 
fragrant , 
1 filling my senses with images of forever. 
We frolicked in the tall grass; 
laughing, caring, loving the hours away. 
Just the two of us, hidden from the 

threatening 
-weather that crept up on us. 
Suddenly the dark sky opened and the cold 
/ winds 

blew you away from me. 

Alone in the field, I scurried to pick up 
my silken array and the crumpled petals 

that 
we had strewn so haphazardly. 
Drenched to the skin, you left me exposed. 
My buds being snapped off by the torment of 

the storm. 
Dashing for shelter, I searched for a vase; 
I hastened to keep our love alive. 
Why had you plucked so many blossoms, 
if you were afraid of the rain? 

******** 



NOT TO SET THE WORLD ON FIRE 

"Not to set the world on fire," 
Was a wish of, my love in the night. 
Or can I get very much higher? 

For if not, then I am but a liar; 

A mere image that reflects no light — 

Not to set the world on fire. 

I professed a birth on a pyre, 

And she saw the strangeness of my sight' 

Or can I get very much higher? 

No days to struggle in the mire, 

Or make much of time. I have the right 

Not to set the world on fire. 

In her arms, I saw tears fall dryer 
Than diamonds that sparkle Tin their 

height . 
Or can I get very much higher? 

Forked into whatness, I can aspire, 
But unchartered and denisl the fright? 
Not to set the world on fire, 
Or can. I get very much highe r? 

******** 



-2- 



Yolanda Wolz 



John Q. Public 



ASTHMA. ATTACK 



ACIDIC PAIN 



Depression 

Soul compression 

Heartbeat suppression 

as breathing becomes labored 

and pains are savored. 

Past and present 

none too pleasant 

as they meet 

they complete 

the defeat 

of the lonely soul 

the only soul 

that is me. 

******** 



Acid rain, 

Teardrops so plain, 

No one cares to complain. 

An absence of action 

Seems somehov insane. 

Acid rain, 

Come -wash away our dreams , 

We will watch in awe 

As nature screams. 

Powerful men 

Make mock reflations , 

People of this planet 

Feel angry vibrations. 

We will miss you, Mother Nature 

When we realize you've left. 



Peggy Martino 



******** 



ONE CAN LEARN TO LIVE WITH LONELINESS 



Peggy Martino 



One can learn to live with loneliness 
and use it to " oe the company cf ">thers. 
One knows what it's like to be paranoid, 
.confused, depressed, and vulnerable. How 
can one be vulnerable if one does not open 
ones self up to be? For people who put 
themselves up in isolated euphoria, they are 
really communicating in reality. They may 
not allow themselves any tvne of emotional 
communication but, by their isolation, 
they witness the giving and receiving of 
~>thers. They take in all emotions and in 
that way they fulfill the emptiness of their 
own. But as they are witnessing, they 
have set themselves up for the greatest 
fall of all. For, through making themself 
'unreachable' and heartless, they make 
themself vulnerable. How, you may ask? Sim- 
ply by being too 'tight' with all their 
expressions. They finally reach a point 
where the know loosens and the 'precious' 
mtouchable contents of the 'inside' person 
pours out. It finally escapes, opening up 
the person's emotions . . . and making 
then vulnerable. 

Time can pass before one realizes that 
all along they've been shutting people out 
and closing off the outlet of their own 
emotions. And all this time, setting then- 
self up to fall. Why can one control every 
~>ther .aspect of their being but vulnerabi- 
lity? Simple, because it is something of 
tine, fate and of life. 

******** 



■3- 



THINGS HAVE GOT TO CHANGE 

Things have got to change 
They must 
They will 

We can't stop time 
Nor can we stop change 
It ' s inevitable 
Life-- 

With all its newcomings 
Where does it lead 
Where has it been 
Can we determine our outcome 
Or is it fate and change that lea Is 
Can we describe our past 
Or is it only meant for us to under- 
stand 
Things change 
—YES— 

We can't alter our past 
Nor can we determine our total future 
We can, however, live the present. 

******** 

Judy Belfield 

BEGINNING AGAIN 

I sip today 

carefully 

from its thin glass; 

today — warm, intoxicating, 

singing the note 

of finger to crystal lip . . . 

I sip carefully 

today's liquid morning, 

soothing the snakes c f yesterday 

into a soft, lulling tremor 

which rocks me through the afternoon 

and into the long night . . . 

If I can just sip today 

slowly, 

carefully S&vrrin* the taste, 

Perhaps I won't need 

to smash the glass against the roll. 



******** 



Judy Belfielcl 



John Bertoletti 



STREAM OF SUBCONSCIOUS 



THOSE FREAKY CONCEPTS 



Last day for warning — 
the surgeon general 
has five stars 
on a tobacco can . . . 
ahses to asrus 
snoke to smoke, 
can't get a lesson 
in fascism 
from sone dictator 
who needs summing up: 
an explanation for the plan 
a plan to explain 
the lost last yesterday . . . 
Warning: the surgeon general 
has determined your life 
and the direction 
your soles will take 
after that next puff 
of acrid poison 
skullboned crosses 
like the iodine 
we used to drink 
on the rocks in Kentucky — 
.bourbon Berbers, 
hang us all — 
if only we'd heard 
the warning 
and the quick trot 
of regret 

breaking from the gate 
and naming ahead 
of the silk and surrey — 
surly hurley gold leaf 
smoking in the fields 
like a hamshank 
and this is the last day 
> for your chuggin lungs 
to heed the warning 
while the surgeon general 
eats sturgeon babies 
and generalizes the grand plan 
into a solemn dirge — 
words grave and final . . . 
Frcdi dust thou art 
an/5 into lust thou shalt return: 
."the dust cakes and bowls 
of lost yesterday 
blown across the land 
like 30' s topsoil — 
grains of sweetblack earth 
turned gray 

settled in a ragged pantscuff 
and waiting for the water — 
Savi jne, Jesus, 
the day is lost 
like the ash of life 
burnt yesterday on a cigarette 
that carried the warning 
I couldn't read. 

******** 



The poems are produced 
from my out-of -synch brain. 
I'd have to agree if 
you called ne insane. 
But I like it weird, 
different, and strange. 
It's an off-the-wall 
style I'd rather not change. 
My imagination flies 
on a twisted-loop rout 
where uncanny thoughts 
and i loas jump about. 

******** 

Yolanda Wolz 



REALITY 101 

Today's lecture is on the choice 
we all make. 

People are like flowers. Po ch 
starts from a seed, puts out roots and 
eventually p US hes his way out of the 
earth (its womb) into the real world. 

In the real world there are many 
kinds of flowers. Some are green, 
leafy, and simple; others are colorful, 
all petals and buds. A flower might be 
green or pink, big or small, bright or 
dull. It might have three -petals or 
a dozen. Even in flowers that have the 
same coloring, number of leaves, and 
same kind of petals, there are subtle 
variations. 

In the real world there is somethir 
called society. Society likes to pass 
judgments. It awards blue ribbons to 
r^-ses because roses signify their i- 
deal of beauty and goodness. Spider- 
plants, meanwhile, are relegated 3 
sun porches and fS -P' 1 -Z"t-ient windows be- 
cause they don't fit society's ideal of 
beauty and goodness, even though they 
may be beautiful and good in their own 
right . 

Unfortunately many a spider plant 
himself will believe he has the- choice 
of being society's rose or his own self. 
But each person is himself irregard- 
less of society's will. He isn't given 
that choice. The choice he is given is 
much harder because he must answer to 
himself first and to society second. 

He must choose to either acc2pt 
himself or deny himself. If he accepts 
himself, he is able to grow strong, 
proud, free. He will flower in the 



(continued) 



-k- 



Reality 101, continued 

beauty of self love. If he denies himself, 
he will fall into self-destruction of his 
mind, body, and soul. He ■will wither in the 
anger of self -hatred. 



Study Questions : 

1. Are you a rose or a spider pland? 
Why? 

2. What choice have you nade? 



******** 



Peggy Marti no 



TIME— IT WILL NEVER STAND STILL 



TIME — it will never stand still. No natter 
how hard we try, we can never seen to drag 
out that second in our lives to an eternal- 
ized moment. Or can we? A second is just a 
space in tine but the nenory of that second*-- 
the feeling °*" it — lasts forever. One that 
will be in ' the heart of the tine-keepe r 
for eternity. 



/ 



John Bertoletti 



******** 



SATURDAY NIGHT YOUNG 



/ 



July Belfield 



DRINKING BUDDIES 



I rub shoulders with Tine, 

drink from the sane bottle, 

sing lusty tavern songs 

in two-part hamony 

until the words slur into tomorrow 

and our laughter drowns the hour. 

Time and I 

are killing ourselves. 
:. r i-ht after night 
a yellow gaiety rollicks''-, 
raucous in the black backstreets, 
a jukebox and ice-clinking glasses- 
muffled echoes signing a pact, 
a covenant of concrete and abstract 
shoulder to shoulder, bleary-eyed, 
each anticipating 
the sudden collapse of the ether. 

******** 

Liz Knapp 

I NEED YOU 

Your doubt 
My nind 
Your loyalty 
My honesty 
Your love 
My passions. 



Your faithfulness 
My excuses 
Your confusion 
My pain 
Your hurt 
ay empathy. 



Your feelings 
My choice 
Your shoulder. 
My tears 
Your wanting 
My needing. 



Struttin my white patent-leather 
steppers as the vibrant blue 
leopard-skin tie rides ny 
bright cotton shirt that smells 
really fresh. 

The white shorts are confy 
and the tan's looking deep. 
Moose River Hummer's stimulate 
as we party on the terrace 
overlooking the lake. 
Someone's cutting rocks inside 
and we check out the stars 
off the water and feel fun. 



******** 



John Bertoletti 



ARCTIC DANCING 

If you ever want to dance around, 
to boogie-out, or shake the ground, 
I know a place where you can go, 
a land of ice and wind and snow. 
Yes, in the ARctic, when you're there, 
You'll shake from toe to end of hair, 
and move in ways you never could — 
as dancing goes, you'll be quite good. 

But, 
It doesn't last for very lon^, 
so please don't play another* son^, 
unless you want to be a stiff, 
an icicle, or crusty drift. 
Yea, Arttic dancing can be fun 
but leaves you frozen, blue, and nunb. 

******** 



******** 



-5- 



Lynne M. Gloeckner 



WHY IS EVERYONE RUSSIAN? 



\ 



Fast are your feet, as you rush on your way. 
Your face expressionless, rutted with years 

of pain. 

Head cover M and eyes hidden t>y the kerchief 
that you wear. 

Drab spirits and heavy wraps conceal the inner 
feelings which you guard so incessantly. 

Do you not know that this is the land of the 

free, 
the land of opportunity? 
You need not live a life of fear, a life of 

want. 

Your solemn mood still depicts the air of the 

iron curtain. 
Your eyes still dart hack and forth with 
suspicion. 



Clutching at your scanty possessions like 
rancid potatoes; you express your affect- 
tions as if they were skeletal rations. 

Uav$ faith, Comrade! Lift your face to the 
red/ sky and breathe in the warmth of the sun. 
Let down your golden hair, take off your 

heavy boots. 

Though your arms race to cover your oppressed 
f future, only a dictator 

of his own heart would choose to miss the 
chance to find and enfold the love of a 

friend. 

******** 

Judy Belf ield 



HOPE AND HORROR 

A slow walk 

to the window, 

curtains fluttering 

in a sweetgrass breeze, 

a glance across the fields 

coming fresh again 

in this, "cruelest month," 

a heavy sigh 

at the portal of a lavendar world 

heavier still 

the walk into darkness. 

******** 



Judy Belfield 



DISCRIMINATION: A STATE OF LII1D 

Say you love me 

or don't — 

I don't care 

as long as you stay the night. 

Tomorrow, when you're gone, 

I won't think about you anyway — 

it doesn't matter; 

I don't care 

as long as you stay the night. 

You're nothing special, 

neither am I — 

there are plenty of you's 

and plenty of me's. 

We'll all get together some day 

or not- — 

I don't care 

as long as you stay the night. 

******** 

John Bertoletti 



AND IT'S ALL SUCH A BLUR 

He is repeated confronted 

with alien trials, 

testing, questioning, attacking 

all facets of his thought and belief. 

Confusion tackles his strides of 

self -revelation as 

standards and models tap him 

on the shoulder. 

His young brain spins and it's 

all such a blur. 

******** 

Judy Belfield 



GODS 

We back away 

and into dreams retreat, 

each to a separate place 

of serene isolation, 

there to lie back 

in flower cushions 

and create the day anew. 



-6- 



******** 



Lauren LeDuc 



Marcia Ballun 



GUILT 



CONFESSION 



Should you have held him 

In your anas at the end 

And forgotten all of the past 

Could you put aside the 
Feeling of bitterness 
That permeated your "being 

Nov that it ' s over 

Must you wish 

That it had been different 

Can't you let go oi it 

Push it out of your nind 

Will it stay with your forever 

Will you travel through life 
Waiting 'til your souls meet 
So you can say, "I loved you." 

******* * 

Yolanda Wolz 



MEMORIES 

I see them 

the distortions 

otherwise known as memories 

made more bearable 

by whit e lies. 

But c?.n you see 

the difference 

between truth and memory? 

I'm not sure anymore. 

I think there must be 

a fine dividing line. 

Somewhere . . . 

I can't see it. 

e I forgot where it was, 

******** 



Lauren LeDuc 



THE VOICE 

Soft for a baby 
Harsh for a sinner 
Mellow for a friend 
Seductive for a lover 

******** 



I was thirty-six when I wed. 

Tom was fifty-nine. 

All my family disapproved of him. 

Why did they despise him so? 

I knew that Tom was older. 

He already had four grown children. 

Was it his outspokenness? 

But, 

If it weren't for this, 

My family would never have taken <ne 

back. 
It was he who went to the farm. 
He knew that they despised him, 
But he still spoke out for me. 
He said, 

"Take back Louise, 

She is of your own flesh and Mood. " 
I am forever grateful to Tom. 

We enjoyed a long and happy marriage. 

Then, 

In his eighty-seventh year he died. 

My heart was lost. 

He had been the closest person in my 

life. 
I was hollow e it hout him. 

I died two years later. 

My death certificate read "heart 

failure". 
How true it was. 

******** 

Judy Belfield 



ANOTHER GREAT AWAKENING 

There is a "time for every season," 

and the book which tells it 

will be placed on the shelf 

with the words of sorcerers 

one day 

and we will smile, 

some of us with ties to the past, 

at the ignorance of man 

and his too-long childhood; 

others will flinch and disbelieve, 

or cut themselves off from history — 

but I speak to them from now: 

it is here and cannot be ignored, 

a lessen In patience 

learned by all who know and pass through 

bef c re the great liberation. 

******** 



■7- 



Shelbia Chandler 



BILLY'S PRAYER 



Dear God, 



My daddy say 3 Mommy's with you 

And he tried to tell ne why 

But I just can't seem to understand 

Why ny mommy had to die. 

Was it cuz you were lonely 

And had no mommy of your own, 

Or was it just that Mommy wanted 

to leave Billy all alone? 

Aunt Sara said Mommy will miss us 

And that she didn't want to 30 

And that Y ou needed her in Heaven 

But, God, I miss her so. 

She says sine 5 You're a kind man 

We'll see her again someday 
\Eat Mommy can't come for a visit 

Because Heaven's too far away 

Grandma says I should he glad 

And I should try not to cry 

Cuz Mommy is very happy 
\ln her home in the sky. 

But how can Mommy he happy 

Without her little Billy 

And who will he the m.' v ~iny . 

To my little sister Tillie 

Tillie came the day 

My mommy went away 

So Mommy doesn't know 

That a hahy came to stay. 

In church the man said, 

"Pray to make things all right." 

So l ; n trying really hard 

T6 pray to You tonight 
'•'But daddy said Mommy can't come home, 

Arrd I gotta try and understand. 

He says we'll all get "by 

If we held each others' hands 

I'm gonna listen to my Daddy 

Cuz Daddy tells the truth 

Not like Mary Hudson 

And Tony's sister Ruth 

So God t.ake care of Mommy 

Be good, don't make her sad. 

And remember, don't he sassy 

Cuz sparks fly when Memmy gets mad. - ; 

Someday I'll die and see her, 

And I hope she'll remember Billy 
"-'Daddy says I'm crazy 

"Forget, Billy. That's silly." 



Anonymous 



BROKEN BONES AND OTHER RELATIONSHIPS 

"Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" is filled 
with "do-wop" harmonies and a catchy 
melody. It is the kind of ditty that makes 
you want to snap your fingers, hut Neil 
Sedaka was wrong. ■ 

"Breaking Up Is HArd To Do" has be- 
ceome a popular phrase for the unfortunate 
couples who are parting company, but 



breaking us is easy. Get tin" through 
the time immediately following the 
break is hardest to do. 

Actually, breaking up is a re- -" 
latively quick process. The actual 
phrase used to "break off the relation- 
ship only lasts about ten seconds", un- 
less the "breakee" has an abnormally 
slow rate of speech. 

Bang! Pow! That's all it takes- 
to, make, the break. The problem is 
that the two broken members hang 
around too long after the break. In- 
stead of going for help (or a suitable 
weapon) they both wallow in their 
misery. If this simple step could be 
eliminated, the transition would be 
much easier. 

The lexicon of disbanding contains 
many standard phrases. "The magic is 
gone," is still one of the popular, 
with a number of words substituted, 
for "magic". "I need some space to 
find myself," became very popular du- 
ring the late sixties and seems to be 
making a comeback. The words are not 
as important as the image they convey. 

People leaving a relationship 
fall into three categories. The 
"roses", the "stompers," and the 
"martyrs." The "-roses" try to buy you 
off with a fancy dinner and a shew, 
that will make them look like a won - 
derful being. The "stompers" only 
want to make you feel inadequate hy 
preying on your weak points. The last 
category is where most people fall. 
They try and make you feel like they * 
are breaking up with your for your own 
good. "You deserve someone better; 
I'm not good enough for you" are commor; 
martyr jargon. 

An experienced "breakee" will 
quickly recognize one of the above 
ploys, and attempt to frustrate the 
breaker's plans. If someone is going 
to hurt you, you might as well make it 
as difficult as possible for then. 

There are several types of reaks. 
"Clean breaks" are the easiest to 
recover from, hut unfortunatley don f t 
occur very often. The most frequent 
break is the "Green-stick" break. This 
usually occurs when your ex-partner 
wants to continue to see you as well 
as date everyone in town. The breakee 
is so overcome by that "green-eyed 
monster" that he heats the "ffenier 
with a stick. 

Information on some of the new 
breaks being developed are not yet a- 
stailable due to the rapid technologi- 
cal gains. Thanks to science and the 
media, people are now able to break up 
quicker and more efficiently thai: ever 
before. 

After the break is over, there 
are really only two things left to do: 
Exact revenue or get on with life. 
Standard revenge is outdated, not to 
mention illegal. The best way to get 



-8- 



( continued) 



Broken Bones And Other Relationships, continued 



revenge on your ex-lovers is to be nice to 
them. Nothing bothers a person more than 
having someone they hurt be nice to them. 
It is only fair to make them feel like they 
made a big mistake by breaking up with you. 
Besides, they are always going to be wonder- 
ing if you are plotting something devious. 



The best plan is not even to 
bother with the other person. Take a 
cruise, go out on the town, or find 
somebody new. t'Jhile y OU are oir t lav- 
ing such a good time, perhaps you could 
listen to some music. Maybe listen- 
ing to "Breaking Up Is HArd -To Do" 
would be good for a few laughs while 
you sun yourself by the ocean with a 
cool drink. 



NOTE : "Broken Bones and Other Relationships'^ an essay that 
was written as a Final Exam in Rhetoric. 

******** 

Lauren LeDuc 



A SISTER 



A MOTHER 



A sister is to love 

When you hate what she is 

thinking 

doing 

saying 
A sister is to stay away from 
When you could so easily 

interfere 
A sister is to talk to 
When no one else could possibly 

understand her 
A sister is a thorn in your side 
When she is an embarrassment you woul 

never abandon 



Only a mother knows 
How a mother loves 
Men can write about it 
And talk about it 
But they can't know 

A child thinks he knows 
Because he receives it 
But he really doesn't know 

Only a mother knows 
What it's like to hold 
Her child at her breast 
And feel the nearness 






#** 



SELF 



I'm selfish — me first 

Eat the most, don't worry 'bout 

What's left for the rest 

Any wish I have 

Do it my way 

Why shouldn ' t I , it ' s mine 

Never let anyone else into my realm 

Cause then I couldn't say 

"Why should I, you have nothing 



Only a mother knows 
What the feeling Q f life 
Moving inside her is like 

Only a mother knows 

How a mother loves 

What a figt to be a mother 

To be able to love that much 

*** 



To do with it" 
I'm selfish 



******** 



John Q. Public 



THE HIDDEN MEANING 



In the photograph, he has captured the 
scene. And although you may not wish to 
remember that moment, it is forever imprinted 
for anyone to see. You are in the photo- 
graph along with others. So nonchalant and 
so free. 

Perhaps you are trapped, but you may 
also be free, in someone's two-dimensional 
application of a dream. 

/ When he is feeling down, he studies the 
picture, often this means missing out on 
meals, homework, and the watching of TV. 



-9- 



And when he is in a boasting 
mood, he may show the picture to some 
of his close friends. T * often makes 
the others envision what it would have 
been like had they been in the photo 
too. But what in the photograph makes 
them feel envy and what makes the photo« 
rxapher and owner of the image so 
happy? 

Perhaps because the picture shows 
a view of the photographer's world or 
because it contains there for all to 

(continued) 



The Hidden Meaning, continued 



see, a slice of life and an excerpt of the 
hazy past . 

For whatever reason, if indeed there 
is one, the photograph in question is very 
value I to the photographer. He carries it 
around with hin, most anywh e re he goes. 
Except when he goes. 'swimming, to job inter- 
views, and of course, on that all-important 
first late with someone new, when impres- 
sions really matter. 

You know, you don't want to he labeled 
'different* until you know each other well 
enough. It just gets down to the fact that 
you don't want to. scare off your first 
date and make a negative impression. What 
would happen if she asked what it was for 
and why you brought it? You couldn't take 
it swimming too often because it would get 
wet and ohen dry. and start to become folded 
and v-trn., Also, colors may fade and with 
the structure of the photography blurring, 
so may the memroies and significance of 
that moment so well captured. 

You may be turned down a job, if you 
brought the picture with you as habit. And 
this could lead to bad feelings between 
you and the boss anyway. Of course, the 
ph?t -> grapher in question has different 
versions of the same shot. A big one, which 
covers one whole side of his bedroom, one 
/ 



that occcpies the ceiling and mar- 
versions just hanging or sitting a— 
nound. He makes some copies for his 
friends, family and loved ones. He 
could make quite a little profit, but 
he chooses just to give and not to 
receive. A wallet-sized shot sit. in 
his sweetheart's wallet. Which sits 
inside a loaded-down purse. The stand - 
ard 8x10 sixe is made and handed out 
with relative ease and minor expense. 

He gives that photograph which he 
treasures as a gift and to those who 
can give his photograph a good h _e. 

Why does he carry this particular 
shot around and why does he smile un- 
consciously when anyone mentions it? 
No one is quite sure. Perhaps, the 
photographer feels that people ask too 
many questions in hopes of finding out 
what is unknown. Questioning every= 
thin/? nay just demean and obscur.; any 
real meaning and action, so his actions 
may be his way of saying, "I'm doing 
what I want to and it has little or 
no meaning . " 

On the other hand, there nay be 
a deep-rooted mental problem here but 
we should not always be the ones 
judge. So time and time again, the 
photographer shoots to capture, and whei 
he does it is his own trip. And he may 
carry this certain photo with him, 
till his final days. 



N 



******** 



Judy Belfield 



Len Overcash 



THE SECRET 



SPOTTING A MURDER 



One morning the nurse- 
Opened the curtains 

And the day trickled in- 
Too parched to flow — 
And gray shadows 
."Seeped through the sheets, 
Touched your yellow leg. 
We knew then 
What would follow. 
When it came, 

Quietly caressing your neck, 
You closed your eyes 

To keep the secret 
You couldn't tell 
Or I couldn't hear . . . 

Which Was it? 

******** 



Frank Bates wanted to see Carol 
and tell her that he'd made everything 
all right between them again. :..e would 
forgive her if she would come back. 
But he didn't know where she was. That 
was the first thing he decided to do 
when he got away — find her and. bring 
her back -home where she belonged. She 
was his alone again. Peter Mead was now 
slumped against the dashboard of this, 
his expensive, brand-new sports car, 
harmless. 

Best of all, Frank hadn't been 
seen. He could merely drive away and 
nobody would stop him. He could ; T o 
home, but Carol wasn't there — Mead, 
had sent her away and now couldn't 
tell him where she was. 

(continued) 



-10- 



Spotting A Murder, continued 

"But you -won't have Carol now," Frank seemed to be the slender, womanish hand 
muttered softly to the unhearing Mead. "Not of an accountant. Something had happen- 
now. And all of your money won't do you any to it. The left hand was the same way. 
■'-' ,r '- either. You can't "buy yourself back They had done it. He couldn't lo 
from death." it. They had taken over. He was just an 

Through the windshield, Frank watched tha accountant, an innocent man with an 
large white fiberglass sign that rose above unfaithful wife, and murderous hands. 
the exclusive restaurant flash on, then off, He couldn't reverse what his hands had 
then on again. The small world around him, done, couldn't squeeze the spark of life 
bleached to a pale-purple hue by the over- back into Mead, so he must get away care- 
head lamp at the edge of the parking lot fully. Get away and find Carol and tell 
seemed almost an illusion. The sports car her he had made everything right be- 
wa3 Pljflk&fL far away ¥ f r om thergst arrant, , # tween the m again. 

away. jfSaff everything . Isolsreed at the edge He "^saw a" "sparkle" of light andfaucUi— 
of this shiny black asphalt, feurrounded denly the back door to the restaurant 
by the dark quiet hulks of other longer, swung open. Several people came out, 
taller buildings. As if in a box canyon. their voices making soft ripples on the 

The hour was very late. The lot was night air. Frank grabbed the steering 
almost empty. Frank could see a dim light wheel again, ready to drive off if any 
coming through the window of the kitchen of them came toward him, but they paid 
door and assumed that the few remaining cars no attention. 

belonged to the employees still inside. He After they were gone, Frank let his 
listened to the sounds of the summer night breath rush from him in a long sigh. The 
through the open side window and noticed whole night had been so different from 
-them unchanging. He could get away easily, any other. It had started suspiciously 

In death, Peter Mead was a much better when Carol hadn't been there to pick 
person. He no longer bragged about how weal-him up after work — Mead had. And driving 
thy he was, or how he was expanding his this low-slung sports car, his newe s "t 
stock portfolio, or investing in real estate. $^0 thousand toy. A strange coincidence 
Nor did he flash his diamond rings under Frank though even then, but Carol had 
Frank's nose, or bring out those "little failed to show. His calls home went un- 
trinkets," those old, valuable coin s j gold answered. so he accepted Mead's offer of 
lighters and such that he fanatically car- a ride. 

ried with him and brought out when given Instead of taking him home, Mead 
the slightest opportunity. Frank had worked brought him here to Altaian's Club. One 
an improvement on the man. of those secluded restaurants on the 

And he had gotten revenge. Mead's western outskirts of town. Mead said 
fourth (fifth?) wife, Linda, had been one of he wanted to buy a drink to celebrate 
Carol's high school friends and that's how the purchase of the finest sports car 
they became acqua^ted. Frank disliked Mead that money could buy. The drink turned 
immed$j#tjf»ly. Hated the constant bragging, » into a long, /boring ordeal, 
the haughty laughter, and the extravagant But it was over now, and Frank"*" 
lifestyle, but tolerated all of it to please knew that he must quickly decide how to 
Carol, who was deeply impressed, And, truth-escape. Frank looked at the digital 
fully, for himself too. He dreamed often of watch on his left wrist and noticed that 
being able to live that self -indulgently. his fingers left small, moist dots on 
But he wondered how he could have failed to the leather. He released his right 
recognize the signals: Carol coming home so hand, more dots. 

late every night, always visiting at their He took out his handkerchief and 
mansion across town, suddenly having expen- scrubbed at the spots vigorously. He 
sive jewelry and clothes that they could not realized that he could not leave without 
afford on his salary as 3^ accountant for removing all signs that he'd been here — 

• a small firm. At first, he thought Carol and what better signs of his presence thar 
had kleptomania because he never received his own fingerprints! Each place and each 

v any bills — now he knew. thing he had touched inside the car had 

Whenever he thought about them together, his marks. Again, with fevered energy, 

ytiis anger flared. Tonight . . . tonight he he swabbed the wheel. 

\had lost control. He had just listened too "Jeeze!" he muttered, leaning back 
much, especially the arrogance when Mead toldin his seat. He closed his eyes for a few 
him he had sent Carol away. Frank had bee n seconds of thought. He must rub every- 
unable to control the overwhelming impulse tothing, must polish away all of his finger- 
silence the man. The spasms had started prints, and he must not hurry and risk 
in his fingers and rolled up this thin arms, missing even one. 
ThiV they had done it. Frank rubbed the handkerchief firmly 

Frank became aware of the ache in his over the chrome-plated gearshift lever, 
forearms and realized how tightly he was then looked at Mead beside hin in the 

fipping the leather-wrapped steering wheel, othex* bucket seat. His prints would be 
lis released his right hand and held it, on the throat. He moved his hand toward 

/palm Uf^Vbefore his face, The merCury-vnpor the body.- It trembled so badly that he 
low blanched out the warm, pink, human tint , couldn't touch it. He looked at his 
turned it into a livid, cold thing attachkands again, wondering how they could 
( 1 at the end of his wrist. It no longer squeeze out the life, but not remove 

(continued) 
/ -11- 



Spotting A Murder, continued 

the evidence. 

He turned away, recalling what had hap- hands began clenching and squeezing the 
pened during this evening. steering wheel. 

The conversation between then was forced "Carol said you were a fool," Mead 
and monotonously one-sided. Mead ha. 1 - seemed said to him, doing nothing to hide the 
especially animated and friendly. He took disgust at the refusal of an offer of 
command immediat 3 ly, ordering everything his precious money. "She was exactly 
they ate and drank. He had brought along a right in her prediction of your reaction, 
seemingly endless supply of his "little too. Obviously, you are determined to 
trinkets" which began coming out after the remain average. And to cling to something 
first drink. The antique diamond-studded that no longer exists. Carol doesn't 
cigar- case, 2U-carat gold, had impressed him love you — hasn't for quite a while. 
most, but the other things, those rare Civil Who can blame her? What have you got * 
War coins, the scrolled pocket watch, the diato offer her that rivals my wealth? She 
mond stick-pins, the ivory cigar holder, or told me of your plans and dreams for the 
the garish rings on six of his fingers didn'ttwo of you — you are amusing, Frank." 
Frank considered himself to oe a man of Frank lest control after that. His 
'simpler tastes. His dreams, though many, hands took complete control. Strangely, 
we*e strictly middle-class. Mead hardly resisted at all. 

/ Frank continually glanced at his watch 

/and made remarks about how late it was get- Frank walked around the front of the 
.ting. Several times he had called home, but sports car to the other side. When he 

still there was no answer. He grew worried touched the handle, the trembling started 
x and suspicious. He felt trapped, ard when again. He would have to force himself 
the drinks and the boring -conversation be- to open the passenger door. Closing his 
"■Jane too unbearable, he demanded to be taken eyes, he flung the door open and began 
none, t i 1 ± s surprise, Mead agreed. wrestling with Mead's li r v>, overweight 

corpse. It was almost beyond what he 
Frank leaned forward and rubbed the could manage, but he pried it out enough 
handkerchief along the radio knobs. to let gravity pull it the rest of the 

way. 
Mead was quite drunk and Frank had to After rolling Mead a few feet away, 
physically support him and lead him to the he sat down on the blacktop. Prank 
car. Bates, a small, thin man, accustomed to 

" Y ou ! ll have to drive, Frankie-boy," lifting nothing heavier than a ledger, 
Mead had slurred and forced the keys into was getting close to the limits of his 
his hands. "Be the first time you ever strength. 

drove anyth£" this fancy, huh? Better The minutes of the night were 

than that cheap little Dodge of yours. Cost rushing quickly by, "but he knew he could 
more than four of them." not hurry and possibly miss even one ^ 

As Frank was inserting the key into single, vital, invisible print. Frank - 
the ignition, M^ad told him, "Carol's not looked at the body, which lay like a 
home, Frankie-boy." broken toy on the blacktop, then at his 

"How do you know?" Frank asked, feeling hands. He flexed them and they resi/ond- 
a little bit of fear ice in the pit of his ed but felt cold, very cold. He real- 
stomach. "She's . . . she's probably at ized that they must be kept busy, 
your i 1011 ??? . . . with -Linda." A loud noise suddenly echoed between 

"I kicked Linda out three days ago. the buildings. Frank leaped to his feet, 
Carol has gone away to wait fo r me. We're expecting fo find himself surrounded by 
.going to file for divorce. Both of us." police. Nobody was in sight. When he 
- x ■ heard the noise again, he ducked behind 

Jj Frank opened the car door and polished the open car door, peering cautiously 
^fc-ne handle repeatedly. though the windshield. He was sure some- 

"Just like that," he muttered as he one was prowling around and thought of 
worked. "Gone away. Just gone away." running. Then he noticed movement, a 

He climbed out of the car and closed theflash of pale color next to an over- 
door as quietly as possible. He scoured the turned garbage can. Soon a fat white dog 
outside handle to a glossy brilliance. Then pulled its head from the can and sniffed 
he wiped the whole door. the air. His heart was pounding, but 

Frank laughed. 
"Why Carol?" Frank had asked. "Why the Tired or not, he told himself, he 
only woman I've ever loved? You've got must 'soon finish. 

enough money to buy any woman you want, Mead, Returning to the task, he swabbed 
so why Carol?" the entire passenger compartment, the 

Mead ignored the questions. "We . . . glovebox and its contents, the ashtray, 
Carol and I . . . have decided to offer you and even the carpeting. When he was 
a substantial sum not to contest the divorce. finished, he closed the door and -wi^-ed 

"I don't want your filthy money!" Frank the handle, 
remembered screaming. It was then that his Now for Mead. Kneeling, fighting 

(continued) 
-12- 



Spotting A Murder, continued 

the repulsion of working with Mead's contort- support him. All of the muscles in 



ed face staring at him, Frank mopped the 
neck until satisfied that all the evidence 
was wiped away. But what about the things 
in the pockets? Those expensive trinkets 
he remembered handling. And Mead's sport- 
coat when he helped him into the car — would 
the fabric hold fingerprints? Frank didn't 
know. 

Perspiration flowed fiercely as Frank 
attacked and tore at the garments until Mead 
was naked. Exposed to the world, Mead look- 
ed hideous and wax-like under the mercury- 
vapor glow. Frank dry-washed the entire 
corpse with the dirty handkerchief. He was 
very careful not to retouch the cooling 
flesh. 

His arms and hands protested with cramps 
and spasms when he was done. They wanted to 
stop. He expected something like that from 
them. After what they'd done, they didn't 
seem to want to help him escape. He wondered 
if/ he could trust them anymore. He must 
/k'eep them ."'usy, so he went immediately 
to the pile of clothes. 

Though his hands had turned against him, 
his eyes increased their aid They acted 
as magnifiers, allowing him to study each 
item, each coin, the ^old lighter and cigar 
case, until completely convinced of its 
cleanliness. 

Finally, much later, he dropped the last 
object, a penny, on the pile beside the 
nude body. He was positive that no prints 
eluded him. He stood up slowly, forcing 
the knotted muscles of his thin legs to 

******** 



his PO-i.y ached from the tedious work, 
but he wasn't finished yet. The car 
was waiting. 

The filthy rag curried the 
bumpers, the sloping hood, the head and 
taillights, the fenders, and doors 
until the car was a streaked, f^. *~y 
mirror. He worked until his tissfei ^jjtes 
told him that none of his distinct 
marks were imprinted on the paint, for- 
gotten. 

He was done. He could leave 
now, hut he was exhausted. Frank 
closed his tired, strained eyes. He 
needed a few minutes rest. Not long 
though, just enough to regain his 
strength. He slumped down on the black- 
top, his back against the car. 

When he opened his eyes again, 
he saw them in the first light of dawn. 
Millions of them were scattered' through 
out the parkins lot. His fingerprints 
covered everything He glanced at those 
hands — they had done this. They had 
strangled Mead and now wante I him to 
pay for their crime. But Frank was toe 
smart for them. He had his rap; and 
would rub and rub and rub until every- 
one of the prints were wiped away again 

The eastern sky grew steadily 
brighter. The sun would be full above 
the horizon soon to help him see the 
prints better. Good, it was time to 
get started. 



•** 



Shelbia Chandler 



I NEVER EVEN SAW YOUR FACE 



I never even saw your face 
I don't know your name 
You're part of my fantasies 
But real all the same. 

"Hardly a day goes by 
When I don't think of you 
Although we've never met 
1 know that I love you. 



Sometimes I wonder about you 
Tryin • bard to see your face 
But I ' d never try and find you 
Since j» m happy in this place. 



My foster parents love me 
And I've never had a doubt 
That to them I'm their own c?iild 
Whom their world revolves about. 



You gave me life 
I thank you for that. 
Although you couldn't keep me 
You didn't leave me flat. 

Rather than abort me 

You found a family 

To give me food and shelter 

Anrl all the love I need. 



As I've said before I love you 
So I hope I don't sound unkind 
But thank you for giving me up 
And making these nice people mine. 

Tomorrow it all becomes legal 
I'm as happy as I can be 
I nl Yhor>e you realize 
You did what was best for me. 



******** 






-13- 



John Bertoletti 



Liz Knapp 



SYNTHETIC SIGHT 



WEIRD SIGHTS AT THE F.F. 



I thought he was an eraser hut 

the hole was too big. 

He ' s kind of bumpy but the point 

is I've drawn in some eyeballs 

and given him sight. 

I have given my pink frog sight. 

The ungrateful waste. I just 

might melt the little hunk of molded 

rubber . 

But he'd see me and I'd freak, 

even though I an the miracle 

worker of the 'artificial amphibious 

world, generously sketching newfound 

per-ception with my magical pen 



~.f- 



vision. 



******** 



It ' s k am and I have no sleep 

I look out my window and see a cr --p. 

He'-s walking around with bags in hand. 

Check it out — it's the sandman! 

Am I awake or is this a dream? 

I look again at what I've seer. 

The bags say Tootsie and he wears a 

frown. 
Run kids, run — it's Kinko the Clown! 
The kids run by carrying 99 balloons, 
but they're not kids, they're dead 

baboons ! 
I blink my eyes and flash my light, 
but here they come, those men in white! 
I start to scream and pinch my arm, 
but I'm too late, here at the Funny 

Farm I 



/■ 



Shelbia. Chandler 



I KNEW SHE WOULDN'T RELIEVE ME 



******** 



Lauren LeDuc 



I knew she wouldn*t believe me. I was - 
sure even as I spoke, but I had no choice. 
I -was beginning to crack and unless I told 
"^someone I would surely go crazy. 

I waited until Martha had gone to work. 
She worked at a factory in Chicago and it 
would be late when she returned. As I had 
a -free day, Grandma and I woul4 be alone. 

When Martha's car pulled away, I left 
my room and went downstairs in search of 
Grandma. I found her in the kitchen, her 
graying head bent over potatoes and other 
vegetables as she chopped them to make soup. - 
She hummed the old song she always 
when she was content. I looked at her lovingly 
for a time. I felt bad because - 1 knew that 
I was about to take away her good spirits. 
I loved Grandma and I didn't want to cause 
her pain. 

I must have moved or made some kind of 
vsound because Grandma looked up, smiled » and 
motioned for me to come in and sit at the 
table. I moved slowly across the room and 
£ook the chair she had indicated. I sat in 



HA-HA-HA--- 

His . laugh 
•" Not heard at all -when they are only two 

Just a smile after telling- a smutty — 

joke "^~ 

-A sarcastic ha-ha-ha after verbal — "' 

abuse 

A forced ha-ha-ha that's- not so real is 
- A form of entertainment.. .for. the baby_ 

His laugh 
^ Heard -only a few times, genuinely 



******** - 

you do me a big favor? Either tell me 
the problem or stop standing around 
looking like a sick animal." 

I looked at Grnnlna tears welling 
up in my eyes. "I'm afraid to tell you, 
Gran, I'm sure you won't believe ne.. 
It sounds like a lie, and I^m not sure 
..I could bear it if you doubted me." 

"What makes you so sure that I 



silence for a long time- wondering how I should won't believe you? Have. I ever 
, -begin the conversation. 

Grandma looked up. "Is something wrong 

Lynn? It is unlike you to be so quiet. 

Come "n, tell Grandma what the trouble is." 
X I remained silent for a time still not 

knowing how to begin. Grandma looked at me 

for a minute, she tried to read my face. 

Being unable to gain anything she went back 

to chopping vegetables and glancing at me 

from time to time to see if I was ready to 

open up. 

\ After what must have seemed like an 

eternity Grandma could stand it no longer. 

She sighed, put down her knife, walked over 

to my chair, lifted my chin to her face, 

and stared into my eyes. < 

"Lynn," she said, "I know that you must 

have come down here to talk. You look as 

though the end of the world has come. Will 



doubt- 
ed you before?" 

I sighed. "No Grandma, but this 
is -different. Martha said, you wouldn't 
believe me. She said you would call 
me a fool- and. never speak to me again. 
I don't want you not to love me, Gran. 
"I'm afraid." 

Grandma looked surprised. "Xotur 
mother has a lot to learn about me. 
So do you, Princess. Don't you under- 
stand that Grandma will always love 
you, no matter what. I love you for 
who you are, not because of what you 
do. Can you see that now?" 

I nodded and hugged her tight. She 
held me close for a few minutes, then 
pushed me away a bit to see my face. 

"Come on, now . . . tell me what's 
wrong . " 



(continued) 



-Ik- 



I Knew She Wouldn't Believe Me, continued 



I looked down at the floor as I "began 
to tell my story. Grandma placed her arm 
around me, "but I could only remain looking 
at the floor. 

"Gran, it wasn't my fault honestly. 
Martha says it is, "but really it couldn't 
be. It all started last year. Remember 
when Aunt Becky had her baby. You went 
down to help because she was ill afterwards. 
Martha and I were all alone here for two 
weeks." 

"I remember," said Grandma. "That was 
when you stopped calling your mother Mama, 
and started calling her by her name. When 
I asked about it, she said that she pre- 
ferred it that way. She said it made her 
feel younger." 

"Well, Gran, while you were gone, Mar- 
tha began doing things to me. I begged her 
.not to, but she said that as my mother, it 
was her right to do as she wanted. She told 
,. mte that she earned that, right when she spent 
eleven hours in labor trying to give birth 
to me." 

I Fire seemed to come from Grandma's eyes, 
but when she spoke, her voice was calm, "j 
dori't understand what you mean. What kind of 
things did your mother do?" 

My -'£"- r - s began to shake and I was more 
afraid than ever. I wished that the floor 
was opened and swallow me. Grandma reached 
for my hands and her eyes seemed to force 
me to go on. 

f 'When you came back, she stopped. I 
thought it was all over, but last night she 
started again. She came into my room just 
like Hon the nights when you were gone. She 
leaned over my bed and gently shook me 
awake. She didn't want to startle me be- 
cause she thought I might yell and scare 
you. 

"She said that she was going to do some- 
thing to me, and if I told, she would beat 
me first chance she got. She also told me 



how much you would hate me if I told and 
how it might kill you." 

"We've already covered that," 
said Grandma. "Row tell me what Martha 
did to you. I assure, I'm not -;oing to 
die from bad news . " 

I took a deep breath and contin- 
ued. "She came into my room and put 
her hands on my body. She felt my 
body and acted like she was a man. The 
first time, I was surprised, I had 
not idea that women did that to other 
women. Gran, I don't know how to make 
her stop. I feel so "dirty. Shs said 
that I made her do it, but she didn't 
say how. I'm thirteen and I under- 
stand something about incest, but I 
never expected to find it in my mother '.' 
seeme-'"'- an-'ry v ut 'listant. I ~rew mre 
afraid. I was sure that she had over- 
estimated herself and hated me after 
all. I turned away tears nearly cho- 
king me. 

When I reached the doorway I felt 
something touch my arm. I turned a- 
round-and found Gran behind me. She 
held out ner arms to me, and I fell 
into them, crying like an infant. 

"My poor, poor Princess," sho mur- 
mured. "I should have known. It isn't 
your fault. Your mother was ill once, 
a long time ago. I knew that, and I 
tried to watch for the signs. I thought 
I saw some a couple of times, but I 
guess I succeeded in changing lay mind. 
I didn't want you to be hurt, but I 
guess I didn't do well ervvu ~ h - . I'm 
sorry, Princess." 

Grandma, too, had tears in her eyes 
I looked at Tier and felt better. She 
had believed me after all, I knew I 
could stop worrying. Grandma still 
loved me and always would. I put my 
arms around her and together we s- :t 
down to talk our problems out. Deep 
inside, I knew the worst was over. 



******** 



John Q. Public 
OPEN EYES/BRIGHT SKIES 



Drifting 

like a kite up in the clouds 

Out of control, eliribin* out of sight 

While others gather to wave good-bye. 

Swifting 

Through Patterns of lies and confusion, 
Search for some proof to support a truth, 

H Hear what you say — 
Then see what you mean; 
By listening to your eyes. 

Gliding 

Along the pathways of life, day by day 
No time for anything outside of you, 



Pain and solitufle 

No awareness of the nsumituie ~f life, 
lidino 

of agin- 
nnd self-pity, 
question your life, 
ne meaning 



D^wn the rails 
Tovar \n regret 
If ym were t<" 
Y -iu nay find 



In ths ^eauty you pass by. 



******** 



•15- 



/ 



Judy Belfield 



Lauren LeDuc 



STAGEPLAY 

The scene is i n the office of an old 
rectory in Oakwood, a small town in the su- 
burban area near Chicago's O'Hare Field. On 
stage L there are windows opening onto the 
front lawn of the rectory. On stage R There 
are two chairs facing the desk which is at 
center. At the rear there are double doors 
leading to the hall, the dining room and the 
stairs. When the curtain rises, it is about 
T:3q pm.m on a warm September evening. The 
windows are open. Father Chris i s reading, 
seated at the desk, dressed casually in a 
sweat suit. Lilly enters from the dining 
r/6om carrying a tray with a pticher of iced 
/tea and a glass. 

Lilly: Here you go, Father Chris. Something 
to cool you off after all that running. 
Iced cold tea. 

Fr. Chris: Thanks, Lilly. It'll taste good. 
/ The caffeine might perk me up. I'm 
/ exhausted after that last mile. Guess 
I'm not really in shape. 

Lilly: Oh, I think that joggin' is too much 
for you. Now you take it easy for awhile 
I'll be on my way to get your priestly 
clothes ready for your meetin' tomorrow 
with those Lutherans. Ya gotta look your 
best if we're ever goin't to get togeth- 
er. 



f 



*t 



. Chris: Oh, Lilly, you remind me of my 
mother, keeping tabs on me like that. 



Lilly: Well, somebody has to take car - of 
you men. You don't have a wife to do 
it. Well, now, I'll see if Father Fran- 
cis would like some tea. This heat 
seems to have got to him. 

(Lilly exits rear) Fr. Chris gets up, walks 
to window, gazes out. Sud'^nly he looks 
startled, as he sees someone coming up the 
walk. The doorbell rings.) 

Fr. Chris: (calling) I'll get it, Lilly. 

(Fr. Chris opens door. Enter Beth Alexander, 
an attra c tive young woman, and Steve Mat- 
thews, her fiancee.) 

Fr. Chris: Beth! Beth! It's you. I can't 
believe it' s you. How are you? (Fr. 
Chris appears fl us tered. ) 



BACK TO THE POINT 

And if God created, 

it was not Adam 

or earth 

but an idea 

like Seurat's "Sunday Afternoon." 

We have placed ourselves 

outside the canvas, 

you and I, 

observers standing too close. 

We step back 

to see the rowers on the lake 

or the distant white umbrella, 

removing ourselves even further. 

We will never understand 

until we return 

to one of the dots of ^°int. 



this is Steve, Steve Matthews. 
(Turning to Steve) Steve, this is an 
old friend, Chris Mclntyre. 

(Fr. Chris and S^eve shake hands.) 

Fr. Chris: Cone in. Come en in and 
sit down. (Beth and Steve sit in 
chairs) It's great to see you. 
What are you doing in Oakwood? 

Beth: Well, I moved here to be within 
driving distance from the airport. 
I'm a stewardess for United, and* 
well, it is a small town and net 
too far away from my folks. 

Fr. Chris: And how are they? Dees 
your dad still run the cafe? 

Beth: Oh sure, why they Just ehlrVged 
it. They ad'-ed a whole new dining 
room with a place for dancing. Just 
like the old Roadside Inn. Remember 
that place? 

Fr. Chris: How could I forget! Spent 
the better part of my life thar 
busing the tables. I know you re- 
member that. You were the best 
waitress they had. We had a good 
tine, didn't we? (laughing) 

Beth: We sure did-- 

Steve: (sarcastically) Well, I guess 
this is old home week. Maybe I 
should turn around and cone back in 
to get into this conversation. 



Beth: Christopher Mclntyre! What are you 

doing here? My God, I haven't seen you 
in sc long. Chris, you haven't changed. 
You look wonderful. (Beth grasps both 
/ of his hands, pauses.) Uh, I'm sorry, 



Beth: Oh, I'm sorry, honey. It's just 
that Shris and j go way back- *&▼ 

I haven't seen Chris since-— well, for 
a few years. Chris, — what are you 
doing here? 

(continued) 



-16- 



Stageplay, continued 



Fr. Chris: (stannering) Well, Bets, I — I — 
I'm the assistant pastor. 

Beth: (quietly) The — assistant pastor. Oh. 

I didn't know you — you did this. I diln't 
know — (her voice falls away. ) 

Rteve: (firmly and with a jealous tone) Well, 
that's great because we need an assistant 
pastor. We want to get married. And 
soon. 

Chris: (stands up and paces around the room) 
-' ' Well — er — there's quite a bit to it now, 
Steve. It's not quite so simple. 



Steve: Oh yea 



h? 



What do you mean by that? 



Chris : Now you have to wait six months! if you 
want to get married in the church. 

Steve : Six months ! For what ! You must be 
kidding! (Steve gets up angrily) 

Beth: Chris, why do they have this rule now? 

Chris: Well, Bets, it's just to make sure 

that people don't rush into anything — to 
be sure — . 

Steve: What's this 'Bets' stuff. Her name 
is Beth. 

Beth: Oh, Steve, Chris always called me that. 
It's pretty hard to forget nicknames. 
You know how old friends are. 



(Telephone rings. Chris answers.) 

Chris: St. Wilhemina's, Father Mclntyre here. 
•' • n ' v I halp you? Oh my gosh, I forgot 
the meeting. I'll be right there. 
Thanks for calling. (Hangs up the phone) 
I'm really sor r y. I forgot a parish meet- 
ing tonight. Let me call you tomorrow and 
we'll talk more. 

Steve: (irritated) Let's go, Beth. See you 
tomorrow, Father Mclntyre. 

Beth: Here's my number, C^ris. (fumbles in 
purse. Takes out business card. Hands 
it to Chris.) Goodbye. 

S£eve: Let's go, Beth. (impatiently) 
/ 

hris: Goo-Tbye sWe. (softly) Goodbye, 
Beth. 

(Chris offers his hand to Steve. Steve ignores 
it, turns, grabs Beth' s arm and walks out. 
Chris closes the door after them, looks out 
window, contemplates as he watches them go 
lown the walk. ) 

CURTAIN 

SCENE 2 



a sectional sofa, glass tables, con- 
temporary paintings and a United Air- 
line poster on the rear wall. TUire 
is an outside door at stage R and a 
door leading to the bedroom at stage 
L. Beth is reclined on the sofa, 
dressed in a stewardess* uniform. 
Beth is crying. Jennifer is com- 
forting her. 

Jennifer: Get hold of yourself, Beth. 

He's a priest. That's it. He's a 
priest. You're not going to change 

anything. Accept.' it. 

Beth: Jennifer, I can't. What will I 
do? I thought I'd never see him 
again. And then he pops up out of 

nowhere. Now — at the moment I thought 
I could forget him by marrying Steve, 
he shows up and comes back into my 
life. (whimpering) It took me 
seven years to get over hin- — and now 
this — 

Jennifer: He's taken vows, Beth. They 
don't take those lightly. And it's 
been a long time since you were to- 
gether . 

Beth: He— he just disappeared from my 
life. I —dn t k n0 w what happened. 
He was there and he loved me. Then 
suddenly he was gone. I didn't hear 
from him. Nothing. 

Jennifer: Maybe that was for the best. 
Maybe it was meant to be. 

Beth: No! No! Jenny, you should have 
seen how he looked at me today. 

Jennifer: Beth, you've promised Steve 
you'd marry him. Think Q f v h a t 
you re saying. Steve doesn't deserve 
this. 

Beth: There are some things that never 
change, Jenny. I know Chris still 
loves me. I know it. I could feel 
the electricity between us. 

Jennifer: Beth — he's a priest. 

Beth: It doesn't matter. I've got to 
see him again — alone. I have to know 
what is happ-^ing — and — what hap- 
pened seve n years ago. (tears come 
down her cheeks ) 

Jennifer: Why don't you get some sleep, 
sweetie. You'll feel better in the 
morning. We have an early flight. 
I'll wake you up in time. Try to 
get some rest. I'm going ^ut f^r 
awhile. See you in the mornin . 



(Jennifer picks up her coat, Roes out 
door, R. Beth sits on sofa and stares 
The scene is in Beth and Jennifer's apart- into space. A long pause. A soft 
nent. It is furnished with modern furniture, knock on the door. Beth Tets up slow- 
ly, walks to door, opens it. Chris 
enters wearing jeans and a sport shirt.) 



I 

/ 



-17- 



( continued) 



STageplay, continued 



Beth: Chris! 

Chris: Bets, I had to talk to you — alone. 
May I cone in? 

Beth: Of course Chris, please cone in. 

(Chris and Beth move toward center stage. 
They both talk at ones.) 

Chris: Bets, I want to tell you — 

Beth: Chris, I have to say this— 

>{They both laugh) 

•* 

Beth: You first, Chris- 
Chris: Bets, if you're wondering why I'n 
here, It's because I had to tell you 
that I made a decision about seven 
years ago to go to the seninary, and 
I couldn't bring myself to tell you. 
"-^ I'n sorry. I wish you hadn't found 

out about it this way. I didn't want 
to hurt you, and I didn't know how to 
cope with it. I guess I just ran away 
from you. The fact that I did that has 
been haunting ne all this tine. An* 
when I saw you today, I just couldn't 
believe it. I'n belling you all this, 
I guess, to ease ny conscience. I don't 
know — ■ 

Beth: It's all right, Chris. I understnad. 
You did what you thought you had to do. 

v Chris: Well, you could say that. And I— I 
took some vows that neant I couldn't 
have all the worldly things I wanted to 
have. I had to decide which was nore 
important — ny desire to serve God — ~ r 
ny feelings for you. I knew that ny 
decisi~~ would hurt you, so I guess I 
took the easy way out, and just left 
town. Now that I see you again, I real- 
ize that what I did probably hurt you 
nore. Tonight, Beth, I wonder if I 
nade the right choice. 



chin. He gently kisses her on the 
nouth. Beth reacts and begins to kiss 
Chriss passionately. Chris breaks 
away. ) 



Chris: Bets — Bets — we can't 



this 



Beth: Chris, you nade .a choice and I guess 
/ we'll have to live with it. 

/ Chris: But there's something I have to know. 
Do you really love this, guy, Steve? 



I— I've Egot to leave before we're 
both sorry. 

Beth: Oh, Chris — 

Chris: I'll get in touch with y-oi. 
Maybe we can neet someplace where 
wa can talk this out whire no one 
will see us. Maybe the park. Spruce 

Park — at the fountain. It's quiet and 
secluded there. Maybe we can nake 
some sense out of all this. 

Beth: I have a flight out tomorrow. 
But I'll be back in four days. 

Chris: Thursday night then, at the 
fountain at ten. Okay, Bets? 
(He puts his hands on hsr cheeks, 
holding her face up to his.) It's 
better ~han here— it's better .ban 
here (looking toward the bedroom). 

Beth: All right, Chris. 

(Chris exits) 

Beth: (to herself) Chris— Chris-— 
you were shivering. And I could 
feel you— you were excited. 

CURTAIN 

SCENE 3 

The scene is in the rectory office 
the next evening. Father Francis is 
seated at the desk. Father Crhis is 
pacing around the room. They are both 
Messed in black suits with Roman col- 
lars. Windows are shut. Lights low. 
It is about ten o'clock in the evening. 

Fr. Fran: That was quite a crowd to- 
night at the nixing of both the Cath 
olics and the Lutherans, wasn't it, 
Father Chris? 

Chris: Oh— oh— yes, Father, it was. 



sth: Why, of — of course I do. He's very Fr. Fran: Chris, Chris, ny boy, you're 

not listening to a word I'm saying, 
are ya? What's the natter? You're 
goin' ta wear out the carpet. Will 



good to ne. He has a good job. He's 
/ an engineer, you know, and has a great 
future. We'll have a lot of .ioney and— 
(Beth breaks down in tears) Oh, Chris, 
those things don't mean a thing. You 
know that I still love you, don't you, 
Chris— When I saw you, I could hardly — 
hardly — (Beth sobs uncontrollably). 

Chris: Bets, don't. Don't cry, Bets. 

(Chris puts his ams round Beth to comfort 
her and gradually his fatherly gesture chang- 
es. He turns her toward him and lifts her 



you stop pacin . 

Chris: Oh, I'm sorry, FAther. 
I'm just upset, that's all. 

Fr. Fran: Upset, eh ? U-set at 



mess 



what' 



-18- 



Chris: About what? About what? I'm 
upset with the Chruch, F'-feer, with 

th ~rules, with the fact that in order 
to serve God, you have to do it the 
Church's way. Who said that the 

(continued) 



Stageplay, continued 



have to do it the Church's way. Who said 
that the Church's way was God's way? 
I'n angry, Father. 

Fr. Fran; You're young, ny boy. You'll un- 
,~rs,tan . as tine goes on. It takes 
.commitment to he a priest. It's not 
~" , - s Y Hot everyone can accerrt that 
fact. At some tine in our lives, we 
all ask ourselves these auestions. 
What has brought you to this re stless- 
\ ness? 

Chris: Father, it's hard for ne to tell 
you. You wouldn't understand. 
\ 
Fr. Fran: I wouldn't? I was in love once. 

Chris: You know, then? 

Fr. Fran: Son, women cone and wonen go, 

but God stays forever. He will never 
hurt you, or leave you. 

Chris: You v - r - in love— and you were 

hurt. 
Fr. Fran: I an human, toe, Chris. I chose 
God not because I was hurt, but because 
it satisfied ny need to serve others 
in a way that is different fron any o- 
ther. But that was for ne. You have 
/ your own choice, depending on your own 

needs. 



hris: Father, seven years ago, I chose God, 
but now I don't know what I want. I've 
seen ny love again, and it's like I 
never left her. I want her, Father, but 
I want the Church. What an I going to 
do? 



Fr. Fran: Only you ca n answer that. Pray, my 
son. Pray for help in your decision. 
God doesn't want you to be unhappy. 
He loves you. You can serve Iiin in 
nany ways. There are those outside the 
Church who are holier than those of us 
in the collar. 



Steve: Jenny, where 's Beth? Where 
is she? I've been calling all 
night, and there's been nn an- -?r. 
I know her flight cane in early to- 
day. Now, where is she? (raising 
his voice) Is she with him? 

Jenny: Steve, calm down. I don't have 
any idea where Beth is. I just 
cane in fron O'Hare. Got these 
beautiful flowers at the airport ^w 
This room needed somethin," tc cheer 
it up, don't you think? Do you like 
them? 

Steve: (ignoring Jenny's snail talk) 
She couldn't stop looking at him 
that way. I haven't been obi a to 
think of anything else. I know some- 
thing is going on. I know it! 

Jenny: Stop talking so insanely jeal- 
us.. Who and what are you talking 
about? 

Stevo: You know who I'm talking about.. 
That priest. Mclntyre. I saw the 
way he looked at her, and the way 
she looked at hin. Jennifer, she 
knew hin fron before. 

Jenny: So what's wro'g with that? 
We all knew some--'3y fron bef?re. 

Steve: Something is going on and if 
I'm right, he won't live Ion- enough 
to ever look at her again. 

Jenny: Steve, you're acting crozy. 
They just met again after oil those 
years. It doesn't mean a thing. 
They're old friends. 

Steve: Friends, eh? Well, friord.s 
don't look at each other like that. 
I know a ruy on the make when I 
see hin. 



Chri: 



I don't know— 



Fr. Fran: C'non son, let's turn in. We'll 
pray about it tonight . Let ' s get up- 
stairs before Lilly is after us for 
staying up too late — 

(Fr. Fr3.n and Fr. Chris exit rear to stairs) 

CURTAIN 

ACT II 
SCENE I 

The scnoe is at Beth and Jennifer's 
Apartment three lays later about 10 o'clock 
in the evening. Jennifer is at stage L 
pjutting flowers in a vase on the sofa 
t/'able. There is a pounding at the door. 
Jenny rushes to answer the door at stage' V . 
ffinter Steve . ) 



Jenny: Steve — 

Steve: Jenny, it was never that way 
with you. You wouldn't have 1 )ked 
at anyone else. You were loyal to 
ne. I was the one who wasn't loyal. 
I know where this guy's coning from. 
Remember when it was you and no — and 
then Beth moved in with you with thai 
beautiful ^-■■''.y and beautiful face — 
remember, Jenny? And you never told 
her about us — 

Jenny: That's all in the past now, 
Steve, in the past. Beth is loyal 
to you. 

Steve: They're together, aren't they — 
arentt they, Jenny? (Steve's voice 
gets louder. He excitedly orobs 
Jenny an J mills her close to hin. 
He shouts.) Toll me, Jenny, where 
ire they? 



/ 



-19- 



( continued) 



Stageplay, continued 



Jenny: (Reacting to "being close to Steve, 
Jenny pulls away slightly. She thinks 
calculatingly, and slowly answers 
Steve, still in his hold. ) They are 
at Spruce Park, by the fountain. They 
net there at ten. Just to talk, Steve, 
just to talk. 

(Sheve releases Jenny roughly. Jenny 
breathes deeply. Steve moves toward the 
door deliberatley as if thinking) 

Steve: He'll be sorry. He'll be sorry. 

(Exit Steve, Jenny realizes what she has 
said and dashes out the door after hin. ) 

CURTAIN 



Beth: You sound so idealistic, Chris. 
Don't you deserve something f r 
yourself? Don't you need soneone 
to love you as a nan, not as a 
priest? Just because you are a 
priest doeHn't stop you fron having 
desire, does it? 

Chris: No, it doesn't, Bhth. That is 
sonething I'n going to have to 
fight all of ny life. I'n fighting 
it now. 

Beth: Chris, don't fight it tonight. 
I need to touch you. I need tc 
feel you. I want to show you the 
love I've had for you for seven 
years. Chris, I can't ieny that 
love. Tine hasn't changed anything, 



SCENE 2 



Chris : And what about Steve? 



This scene takes place at Spruce Park 
at about ten o'clock the sane night. Back- 
drop shows a fountain. -'-here j_ s a ne tal 
fence around it. A park bench is at stage 
R. A snail (nursery) tree with bushy 
branches is at stage L. Lights are low. 
•Beth is sitting on bench waiting. Enter 
Chris. 

Chris: There you are. I've been walking 
around waiting for you. 

i 

Beth: I nust have just nissed you. I've 
been here a few ninutes. Isn't it a 
gorgeous night? An early Indian sun- 
ner, I guess, 
i 

^-Ghris: Yeah, I guess. Beth, you're beau- 
tiful in the noonlight. I had forgot- 
ten just how beautiful you are- I 
guess when God put you together, he 
pulled out all the stops. 



Bath: Funny how God seens to get into all 
your conversations, Chris. It seens 
you're obsessed with Hin. I believe 
in God, too, but I don't let hin get 
in the way of anything. 

Chris: Beth, I don't think you understand. 
God is a part of ny very existence. I 
guess I relate everything and every- 
body to Hin. It just seens natural. 



2th; 



I don't want to talk about Steve. 



\ 



Beth: I know. I guess that's why I--I love 
you so nuch. You have such deep feel- 
ing and understanding. Do you have 
sone understanding about ne? 

Chris: Yes, I think I do. I think you — no, 
I'll say — we — are trying to capture 
sonething that is long gone. It was a 
beautiful thing — the love that we had — 
but tine has passed. Other forces have 
nade a leap inpression on both of us. 
I've found great satisfaction in being 
a part of the Lord's service. I've 
found great joy in doing His work. And 
I've really only just started it. I 
don't know what is to cone, but I'n 
eager to find out. 



or to think about hin. 

Chris: You'll have to think about hin. 
He's part of all this. 

Beth: No, Chris. Steve was a substi- 
tute for you, and a poor one, at 
that. I'd looked for a substitute 
for a long tine, and couldn't find 
anyone anywhere near you. Stove 
seened to love ne so nuch. He just 
wouldn't let up until I say yes, 
I'd narry hin. What I feel for 
Steve isn't renotely related to 
what I feel and have felt for seven 
years for you. 

Chris: I'll have to adnit that when I 
saw you with hin I was feeling pangs 
of jealousy. Bets, I thought about 
you a lot while I was in the semin- 
ary. And a whole lot just before ny 
ordination. But I was sure you 
were happily narried by then. I 
couldn't conceive of the fact that 
you would still be in love with ne. 

Beth: Oh, Chris — hold ne. Please hold 
ne. Just for a ninute. 

Chris: Beth, I can't. I can't let my- 
self feel your body next to nine. 
I want you too nuch. 

Beth: Chris— 

(Beth puts her ams around Crhis and be- 
gins to kiss hin lightly on his face. 
He responds to her and holds her in a 
long embrace. They part. Chris moves 
away fron 3eth. ) 

Chris: Beth, I have to tell you that 
I've decided that I can't "over 
see you again. Even though I love 
you, ^ e th i want to be a priest. I 
can't have both you and the " r_est- 
hodd. I know this hurts you, and it 
is killing ne to tell you this, but 
I have to. Sonethinrc deep inside of 



(continued) 



•20- 



Stageplay, continued 



\ 



ne is nulling ne to God. But I'll always 
love you, Beth. 

Beth: I'll never understand it, Chris, hut 
I guess I'll have to accept it. I 
guess there's not nuch nore to say. 
Would you — kiss ne again — just one last 
tine? 

Chris: You don't know hew nuch I want to ••, 
do that . 

(Chris kisses Beth passionately for a long 
tine. Steve enters, stands behind tree, 
observes passionate kiss of Beth and Chris. ) 

Steve: (coning out frcn behind tree) You 
son of a bitch! Leave her alone! 



.{Steve junps Chris, starts fighting hin, 
/ Chris'! returns the blows. Beth runs away 
^stage L. Chris is hit hard and stays on 
the. gournd. Jenny appears stage R. ) 

Jen-y: Steve! Stop! Step it! He's down. 
Don't hit hin again. Steve—cone 
on. Cone hone with ne. 

(Jenny pulls Steve toward her, and drags 
/him away off stage L) 

/ 

/ Steve:- (screaning as he exits) God danned 
• son ?f a bitch. I hope he's dead! 

/ CURTAIN 

SCENE 3 

This scene takes place in the church. 
The door is at stage R. The r e is a stained 
glass window at rear. There is a kneeler 
ab stage R. xlnother kneeler is at stage 
L, with a frane above it on which a curtain 
is hun rr . There is a chair on the opposite 
side of the curtained kneeler. There is a 
pew in center stage toward the rear. It is 
four o'clock the next day. Chris is slow- 
ly walking around at center stage. He is 
wearing a cassock with a stole. He finally 
walks over to the kneeler at stage R and 
/ kneels to pray. 

( Enter Father Francis) 

Fr. Fran: Father Chris! Father Chris! 
I'n sorry to inter-upt your nedita- 
tion, but I nust. Lilly tells ne that 
you were hurt, and had bunps and 
bruises. What happened? Are you all 
right? You don't have to hear con- 
fessions if you're feelin' poorly. 
I'll take then for you. Now c^ne over 
here and tell no what's been goin' on. 

Fr. Chris: Nothing, Father. I'n going to 
hear confessions. That's ny duty. 
But I suppose what I really need to 
lo is to have you hear nine. I'n pray- 
i n " new to bo worthy enough to ;ive ab- 
solution to anyone. Father, I'n not 
good mough to be a iriest. 



Fr. Fran: None of us is perfect, 
Chris. We all have faults. 

Chris: Father, I saw her and kissed 
her. I wanted to nake love t" her. 

Fr.Fran: The' Lord will forgive you, 
Chris, and He will help v n u to keep 
yj.ur vows, if that's what you want- 
You only need to ask hin for help. 

Ghris: That's what I've been praying 
for. Go on, F'ther, I'n all right. 
I'll be along after confessions. 
I'll tell you all that happened, 
'chen. Go on. This is your tine 
for rest. 

Fr. Fran: All right, Ghris. 

(Exit Fr. Francis. ) 

(Chris goes to confessional, tha kneel- 
er at sta ; ?e L. He sits down behind 
curtain and waits. Steve enters 
stage R. He walks slovly to "stage L. 
He kneels on kneeler of confessional, 
Curtain is drawn so that Chris cannot 
see who is on the other side.) 

Steve: Bless ne, Father, for I have 
sinned. I want to kill a nan.. 

(Chris is visa.'^Y taken aback as he 
recognizes Steve's voice.) 

Steve: THis nan has taken away the 
only person I've ever loved. 

Fr. Chris: You probabPy have ni sunder- 
stood. What you see is not always 
the way it is. 

Steve: It's no use. I'n too full of 
hate. can't stop nyself. 

Chris: Renenber that God lrves y u and 
wants to help you to forgive. 

Steve: It's too late for forgiving. 

(Steve quickly pushes curtain aside, 
draws gun and shoots Fr. Chris. T-hris 
falls to side, clutching his chest. 
Steve runs off sta^e R. Sees Jenny, 
stops nonentarily and continues run- 
ning offstage. Enter Jenny. ) 

Jenny: ( shout in:) Steve — what hap- 
pened? Chris— oh Chris— Oh ny God. 

(Jenny kneels next to Chris and cradles 
his head in her arms. Chris s: _aks 
softly. ) 

Chris: Why did you tell hin where we 
were, Jenny. T,n i v did you tell hin? 

Jenny: Forgive ne, Father, for I have 
sinned. You know I've always 
loved hin and wanted hin for myself — 

(Lights Out. Curtain) 



-21- 



Judy Bel field 



THE END OF THE LINE 



JoJo. 



"D'ya think he'll be here?" asked 
'He's always here. We just hafta 



wait," said Carol. 

"What if he's sick or something?" 
"He'll be here. It's only quarter 
after three." 

Two fifteen-year-old girls stood in 
front of Woolworth's Five and Dine after 
having stepped off a bus marked "Special." 
Each carried a neat stack of books and 
dangled a largish purse. They were dress- 
ed identically — mute-toned, plaid, copious- 
ly pleated, wool skirts rolled over at the 
waist, hiking them two inches above their 
knees, black, wool, tailored blazers over 
starch-collared, white, cctton-broadcl -th 
/blouses, crew-knit bobby socks, and black 



/ 



penny loafers. It was the uniform of St. 



Francis Academy, a Catholic high school 
for girls. The skirts, according to reg- 
ulation, were supposed to fall one inch 
below the bottom of the knee. The regula- 
tion was broken by most girls by rolling 
the skirts up as soon as they were a safe 
distance from the school. 

Some girls, who were a little bolder, 
hemmed their skirts up at mid-knee to 
avoid the bulk that rolling created at the 
waist. That was a mistake, however, since 
the nuns at the academy conducted random 
spot-checks for infractions -■*. the rule. 
The girls were told to kneel on the floor 

n. while the sister in charge went around mak- 
ing sure every skirt touched the floor with 
ease. While some of the girls who had 
hemmed their skirts were also cagey enough 
to scrunch themselves down for maximum 

N floor-touching, others t?ere not. The 
"girls caught short-skirted were sent to 
the sewing lab for an immediate, practical 
lesson in lowering a hem, while "no-nonsense 
notes were prepared to send hone to the 
parents. 

,* It was 1962. Skirts were getting 

shorter. The new, shorter skirts weren't 
called "mini-skirts"; they weren't quite 

/ that short yet . The one-inch-below-the- 

\knee fashion was on its way out, although 
Harpe r 's Bazaar and Glamour were still 
holding the length there. 

Carol and JoJo were about the same 
height. JoJo was blonde, blue-eyed, fair- 

//skinned and stocky. Carol was brunette, 
hazel-eyed, creamy-skinned, and thin. 

They walked side by side up the ramp 
leading to Woolworth's, pushed the doors 
open, and headed for the ladies' room be- 
hind the lunch counter. There, they re- 
teased their hair, spritzed hairspray 
til they gagged from the fumes, applied 
black nascara, pinched their cheeks, and 
colored their n uths with white lipstick 
that only hinted at pink. Extreme hair- 
styles, eye makeup, and garish lipstick 
all were forbidden -at the academy. JoJo 



puckered up and blew several kisses 
at her image in the mirror. 

"Hurry up," said Carol. "So we 
have time for something to eat . " 

They emerged from the ladies' room 
feeling glamorous, and headed toward 
the lunch counter. They climbed up 
on tall stools, and settled in an 
advantageous spot. It was advanta- 
geous because, from where they sat, 
they could see all the activity outside 
through the store ' s windowed front . 
They could also check themselves from 
time to time in the long mirror that 
ran the length of the back wall fac- 
ing the counter. They arranged their 
skirts for decent leg exposure — but 
with care — the exposure had to soem 
accidental. 

JoJo thrashed around in her purse 
for several seconds, and fished out 
a few coins and " a package of Salens . 
She lit a cigarette with a match, 
formed an "0" with her lips, and 
blew out the flame slowly, watching 
herself in the mirror all the while. 

"They got apple dumplings today," 
said Carol. 

"Ummm," said JoJo, who continued to 
amuse herself with smoking techniques. 
They ordered— hot apple dumplings in 
cinnamon sauce, and Cokes— and ate 
quickly. The boys' Catholic high 
school had already dismissed its 
students. Very soon, "Special" busses 
would spill out the boys in front of 
Woolworth's, where thev would stand 
around idly, waiting for transfer 
busses to take them home. There would 
be hundreds of them. Carol and JoJo 
would be waiting — but not for the 
boys. They would be waiting for HIM — 
Lonnie James. Blonde, gray-eyed, 
full-lipped , twenty-two-year-old , 
married Lonnie James was a bus driver 
with a Southern accent who said, 
"Yeahhh" just like Elvis Presley. 

"Did.ja hear about Janice Kowalski?" 
asked JoJo. 

"Uh-uh." JoJo was amazed— it had 
been all over school. ''What happened?" 
Carol asked. 

"Sister Clement took her to the bath- 
room and stuck her head under the sink 
because her hair was ratted too high." 

"Yeah?" 

"Yeah. Took a ruler over to her, 
stuck it through her hair, and measured 
from the head up. It was ratted over 
an inch. Somebody said 'three inches,' 
but I don't know . . . it's possible, 
though* Janice Kowalski is kind of 
extreme . " 

"That's a bitch." 

"Yeah," said JoJo. "I saw her in 
the hall this afternoon and she looked 



(continued) 



-22- 



The End of the Line, continued 

awful, just awful . Her hair was flat — 
straight as a stick — and stiff too. From 
all the hair spray." 

' ! Ick-o. How embarrassing." 

"Yeah ... I swear, nuns have no 
feelings. None at all. That's why they 
call then 'nuns. They giggled. 

"I'll say," said Carol. "Expect us 
all to look like zombies. So wrapped up 
in 'how many inches this' and 'how many 
inches that ' . " 

"Whoooa," squealed Jo Jo. They ex- 
changed the looks that accoo^any adoles- 
cent innuendo, and giggled some more. "The 
whole thing's sooo stupid," continued JoJo. 
"I mean, Jackie Kennedy rats her hair and 
~ya don't hear any nuns saying she looks 
like a freak. Besides, if Janice's parents 
don't care how high she rats it, why 
should — was that him?" 

"Nah . . . but we better get outside 
\ anyway." 

They climbed down from their stools 
and stood in line at the cash register. 
Woolworth's was bustling. It was one of 
the last downtown stores with a wooden 
floor, and the clunking of feet rat-a-tatted 
rhythmically with the chatter of voices 
and the clatter of dishes from the lu n ch 
counter. The store was bright and yellow, 
a contrast to the gray outside. It was 
/mid-November — one of those dar?" , cool 
f days that foreshadows the winter to come, 
but a leftover crispness of October lin- 
gered, not wanting to let go. 
\ Carol and JoJo watched the busses 

\pull in one behind the other and empty 
v quickly — a disemboweling which left the 
f^kin and bones of the busses standing like 
ihe framewcr-' s of new buildings waiting 
v ;to be filled in. People were everywhere. 
\/A boy walked by carrying a transister ra- 
Kdio. The Crystals were singing: "He's a 
/'rebel and he'll never ever be any good . . " 
/< "There he is," shouted Carol *Am wasn't 

/ really shouting — she just had a loud voice. 
"Ooooh, th=re he is." 

"Where? I can't see." 

"Behind Number Five — see?' 

"Did he change the sign yet . . . no — 
yes , he changing it now. Great ! He ' s ^ot 
the Lidice run — oh, he's getting out. He's 
coming this way." 

"Pretend we didn't see him," said 
Carol. She turned to face JoJo. 

"What should we talk about while 
■"■e're pretending not to see him?" 

"Ha, ha — funny, funny. Is he still 
coning?" 

"Yeah. Oh, he's sooo cute," JoJo 
said, keeping him in the corner of her eye. 
"What a dell!" 

"Shut up, you dope. He's gonna hear. 
How close is he new?" 

"Hi, girls," the familiar voice 
drawled. Carol stifled a groan. JoJo's 
legs turned to mush. 

"Hi ," said JoJo. 

"Oh," said Carol, turning abruptly. 
"Hi, Lonnie." 



"I see you got the Lidice run today," 
said JoJo. 

"Yeahhh." Elvis. JoJo's st enrich 
fluttered. Her spine tingled. : don- 
na grab a quick cuppa coffee. You 
gals gonna ride to the end of the line 
with me today?" 

"Sure," said Carol. "Why net?" 

"Okay. See ya in a little." He 
went into Woolworth ' s . 

"I see you got the Lidice run 
today," said Carol sarcastically . 
"I told you to pretend we didn't see 
him. God, you want him to think 
we're in love with him or something?" 

"No," said JoJo. But she did want 
him to think that. Because she was 
in love with him. Of course, so was 
Carol. But that didn't matter, "either 
one of them was going to "get" him 
anyway. That thought never even en- 
tered their minds. They would have 
been terrified if he ever made a 
"move"— a little thrilled, yes, but 
more terrified. He was married — he 
did more than just hug and kiss. 
He did— IT. 

Carol and JoJo headed toward the 
Lidice bus. They wanted to be first 
in line so they would get the scat 
closest to Lonnie. Of course, Carol 
would get the one right behind him, 
so close to him she could smell his 
after-shave. JoJo would get the seat 
across from Carol, facing her. That 
was all right, though — she'd be facing 
Lonnie too. He'd only be able to see 
Carol in the rear-view mirror, but he 
could look at J^J" straight on — 
all he had to do was turn his head a 
little to the right. Then, JoJo 
would cross her legs — sooo . 
sophisticated— and swing her bobbv- 
socked, penny-loaf ered foot. She'd 
let the loafer dangle from her to -3 
as her foot swung — a wanton invito tion 
to spend the next several years kiss- 
ing her hungry, relatively inexperienc- 
ed lips. Oh — heaven. 

The Lidice bus would travel a route 
through the near-west side of Joliet, 
where JoJo lived, ajid then veer off 
toward Crest Hill, where Carol lived. 
The girls' houses were in the same gen- 
eral area, but separated by about three 
miles. JoJo didn't live far fror. town. 
Her house was within walking distance — 
less than a mile away. The ride ^n 
the bus to her stop was much too \ ain- 
fully short. That was why she rode 
with Carol 'ut t? the sk 1 . ->f ti lino 
and ">t ' f f tho bus on its way 1 ack 
downtown. Carol's stop was bout ten 
blocks from the end of the line, and 
she, too, rot off on the bus's return 
trip. When the bus returned to town, 
its sign was changed to "Forest Park," 
and then took a route through Joliet 's 
near-east side. Back at Woolworth's, 
after the east-side run, the bus be- 

( continued) 



-23- 



The End of the Line, continued 



/ 



cane 'Lidice' again. Sonetines, Carol and 
JoJo took the whole ride — through Lidice 
to its end, hack to town, through Forest 
Park, hack to town, then hack out to Lidice 
again. Just to be with hin. 

When they reached the end of a line 
early, Lcnnie would stop the bus and wait — 
it had to leave on tine. Then, he would 
turn around in his seat and they could 
really talk — snail talk, sprinkled with 
innuendo and double entendre. Sonetines, 
Lonnie would say something suggestive 
that neither Carol or Jo Jo understood, but 
t-hey giggled anyway, not wanting to let on 
that they didn't know everything there 
was to know. Once, he said something about 
a wonan being a squirrel. Carol giggled. 
But Jo Jo asked, "What's a squirrel?" 
Carol shot her a disapproving look. 

"Well, 5 ' sad - Lonnie, "let's put it 
this way. You know what a squirrel does 
/with its tail?" 

"©V 1 said JoJfe. She laughed, but 
didn't really know what squirrels did 
do with their tails. Carol didn't 
either. 

They rode with hin nearly every day. 
When he had another route, they rode with 
hin anyway, transferring in town to their 
\ora bus later. When he had a day off, they 
ware in agony. His days off, though, were 
somewhat of a relief to Jo Jo. She had 
been telling her nother she was staying 
after school for basketball practice. Sone- 
tines, her nother said things that nade 
JoJo think she was suspicious. "Basket- 
ball practice sure ran late today," she 
\ would say, and JoJo wouldn't answer, just 
shrug her shoulders as if to say, "That's 
the way the ball bounces, Ma." 
But than, she'd feel wicked. And her se- 
cret was wicked— she was convinced of it. 
Had she bean riding around town with a boy 
her own age, it would have been bad e- 
nough. But Lonnie was no boy. And, to 
top it off, he was married. The lies nade 
everything dirty. 
y Still, at night, before she fell 

asleep, JoJo pretended Lonnie was with her, 
sayinr- wonderful things, kissing her. 
At night, JoJo and Lonnie were the only 
two people in the world. 

JoJo thought Carol probably had the 
sane fantasies, but they never talked 
about then. Christnas approached. 

"We should buy Lonnie a present," 
said Carol one Saturday afternoon. 
"Yeah. We should." 
"What could we get hin?" The two 
girls were sitting on the floor in Carol's 
basenent-turned-fanily-roon. Both wore 
genuine, bleeding-Madras slacks, but in 
s different patterns. 

'I don't know." They sat quietly for 
a couple of ninutas, thinking. 

Then, "I know," said JoJo. "A 
lighter. A silver lighter. Expensive. 
With his initials." 

"Perfect, said Carol. 
On the last day of school before 
j Christnas vacation, they rode out to the 



end of the line with hin. Lar^e, lacv 
snowf lakes were falling, landing 
softly, silently, nelting into long vet 
streaks on the windows of the v us. 
They had already been to Forest Park, 
and had reached the Lidica end early. 
It was dark, a four-thirty winter 
darkness, nuffled by the delicately 
falling snow. Lonnie left the bus 
running for heat. JoJo's stonacb 
tightened with anticipation. 

"Merry Christnas," Car^l said, hand- 
ing hin a snail, carefullv--vrra"god 
present. 

"Merry Christnas," repeated JoJo. 
"You bought ne a present?" he asked, 
a snile brightening his faca. His 
teeth were narvelous — white, straight, 
gleaning — just like in the toothpaste 
commercials. But better because 
Lonnie was for real. 

"Open it up, "said Carol. And he 
did. "It's got your initiais on the 
bottom." 

"It's beautiful," he said. "I 
don't know what to say . . . Thanks, 
thank you both." 

JoJo watched hin, a strange, ex- 
quisite feeling gripping her. Carol's 
eyes glittered in the dinly-lit bus. 
He got up and hugged then — first Carol, 
then JoJo- — big, crushing hugs, sayin^ 
"thanks" to each as he did so. 

Carol, it seened to JoJo, accepted 
the hug casually, as though a moment 
like this happened every day. She, 
on the other hand, was overwhelm :-d , 
kept repeating to herself, "He", 
touched ne . . . he touched .ne . . . 
hugged ne. " It was even better than 
that day she had waited all afternoon 
in the drizzling rain for John Kennedy 
to shake liar hand. "This hand touched! 
his ," she had boasted afterwards to 
her friends, and then gave then tine 
enough to examine her pain for 
traces of Kennedy left behind in her 
skin. 

"You shouldn't have," Lonnie said. 
"You really shouldn't." He checked 
his watch. "Oh-oh, we're lata. Gotta 



He got back into his seat 



•ut 



the bus in gear, and it hummed i:s 
way back to town. 

: G'bye," said JoJo as she got off 
the bus at her stop. She watched it 
disappear down Hickory Street. She 
began to walk hone, slowly. His eyes. 
his snile, appeared over and ever in 
her mind. She recreated the scene 
on the bus again and again. Suddenly 
she loved winter, loved the snowf lake i 
loved the big, blade sky empty -f 
stars that night. She heard a church 
bell in the distance. It sound "Like 
soneone had covered the clapper . ith 
layers of cloth. She stood still ana 
snelled the night. It was fresh — coir 
and fresh. 

A lone streetlight shone at the end 
of her block. Snowf lakes fluttered 



(continued 



-2k- 



The End of the Line, continued 



\ 



\ 



under its metal, shade. She pirouetted — 
three or four turns — iown the street, and 
stopped. Listened. It was so quiet. 
Tears started to form in her eyes. She 
fought then — she vas too close to hone. 
Her mother would ask the reason for then. 
What could she say? 

Once, when she and her family had been 
out for a drive, the night air had gotten 
to her and., s^he had cried. Her grade-school 
graduation was nearing, and Jo Jo was in 
love with Ernie Sunshine. Sunshine wasn't 
his real name, but Ernie reminded JoJo of 
morning, and she had given the name to him. 
Ernie didn't know it; he hardly noticed 
Jo Jo. He had worked for JoJo ? s stepfather, 
and when Jo Jo cleaned the offices , she 
would sneak peeks at him in the paint -room 
when he wasn't looking. Graduation, Ernie, 
the night air, had gotten to her, and she 
had cried. 

y Later, her mother asked, "Why were you 
drying in the car?" 

/ "I don't know." She really 'i^n't. 
./' If she had, she wouldn't have been able 
to explain. Her mother kept pestering, 
asking if she was crying abou^ this or 
crying about that, but she never guessed. 

"Well, then, what was it?" her mo- 
ther insisted. 

"I don't know." 
There must be a reason. Only crazy 
\people cry for no reason." She stressed 
tphe "crazy," and Jo Jo began to think 
^he might be. 

Why did her mother always interfere? 
She seemed to cheapen Jo Jo's feelings, 
/^anting hereto say things that couldn't be 
said, things that belonged in the heart 
and to thoughts, things that had no words 
that were adequate to express them, things 
too terribly large to fit into words. She 
wiped at her eyes before she got hone. Ma 
wasn't going to ruin it this time. 
"Where 've you been?" 
"Basketball practice. I told you," 
said JoJo. Why can't she leave me alone? 
Why does she always have to ruin things? 
Asking questions. Taking me away. Making 
me think of dumb stuff like, "Why are you 
so late?" 

"Set the table," her mother commanded. 
Set the table, set the table. Who 
cares about setting the table? Who wants 
to eat? Leave me alone. 

"I happen to know that basketball is 
over. It ended two weeks ago. I want to 
know where you've been every night after 
school." 

Caught in a lie. Again. How does 
she find those things out? Why wouldn't 
her mother stay out of her life? Why di 
she always have to poke her nose in JoJo's 
business? She could never get away with 
anything — never . 

A quick answer Xwas called for. 
"Me and Carol 've been stopping down- 
town after school. For French fries," 
she blurted. It was part true. JoJo's 
aother had been sending her to a doctor 
(regularly for weight loss. Going off her 



/ 



t 



diet was a lesser evil than flirting 
with a married man — so much "lesser," 
that the two sins weren't even in the 
same class. 

'It doesn't take two hours to ;>at 
French fries." 

"We don't watch the time, Ma. We 
t alk . And don ' t pay at t ent i on . " 

"Well, you will from n^w on. I 
want you hone no later than four after 
this. And, for Ijfehg, you can staa 
home for two weeks and no phone calls." 

"I thought you'd be mad — absut the 
French fries. Two weeks is the whole 
Christmas vacation." 

"Don't talk back. You'll stay home. 
And no phone. And when you get "'-ack 
to school, I want you home no later 
than four. And consider yourself 
lucky I don't smack you." 

A world can collapse so suddenly. 
One minute, everything is heaven, and 
the next . . . well . . . JoJo felt 
it now. She thought about no more 
end-of-the-line bus rides , . no more 
time spent talking to — oh, it hurt 
to think of his name. It was almost 
obscene to think of his name here in 
this house where it didn't belong. 
She had to resign herself tc not see- 
ing him any more. She knew she 
couldn't sneak now. Things had gone 
too far. Her parents had driven 
around before, checking up on her, 
catching her in all the places she 
wasn't supposed to be. Like sitting 
in Eddie Limacher's front yard with 
Donna Pierce and Margie Sullivan, 
She wasn't supposed to "han,? arc • ad" 

with those girls. 
tt 



»v 



They were " 'coy- 



er azy. 

There was no way now. She'd never 
see Lonnie again. It would kill her — 
she was certain. She began to ache 
somewhere, ache all over. 

She ached the whole Christmas vaca- 
tion away, cried at night, remembered 
Lonnie 's face, ached some more. She 
couldn't even tall Carol because she 
couldn't use the phone. It wouldn't 
have helped much airway. Without Lon- 
nie, life would be unbearable. It was 
unbearable already. The aching, the 
aching. She wanted to die. "Oh God, 
let something happen. Please . . . 
please," she whispered in bed. 

The Almighty didn't intervene. 
After Christmas vacation was over, JoJ; 
got home every day before f^ur. Carol 
continued to ride with Lonnie t ^ the 
end of the line. Afterwards, sh.. woull 
tell JoJo about the ride. Put JoJo 
diin't want to hear — or di 1 she? 
Everytime Carol talked about him the 
aching came back. 

"Listen, Carol," she sail one day 
late in January. "Don't tell no about 
Lonnie any more. I don't want to hear 
about him." 

"Okay, hay. 
wanted to hear." 



I only thought you 



(continued) 



/ 



- 



-25- 



The End of the Line, continued 

"Well, I don't. Not one word." It 
was a lie. She wanted to hear, wanted to 
know his every nove, wanted to picutre him 
in her mind while Carol filled in the dia- 
logue. ru "t • it ached too much. 

One Saturday in March, JoJo was scour- 
ing the bathtub, singing along with Wed 
Miller — "From a jack to a king . . . fron 
loneliness to a wedding ring . . ." — when 
the phone rang. 

"Is this JoJo Montgomery?" a female 
voice asked. 
"Yeah." 
v "MY name is Marlene Janes. Lonnie's 
wife. I want to talk to you right away — 
today. About you and hin and sonebody named 
Carol." 
\^ "Ub» I dont' know if I can. We got 
relatives comin' in fron out of town." 

"It ; s important. I gotta talk to you 
today. Maybe I can speak to your mother, 
/^explain the situation to her?" 

"Uh, she's not home — she's in Chicago. 
At the airport. Picking up my Grampa." 

"When will she be back? I can call 
later. I can come over and wait." 

"Maybe I can get away . . . what time?" 
"How about three? How do I get to 
your house?" 

"Uh, could I, naybe meet you some- 
place?" 

"I guess so . . . How 'bout Page's 
Restaurant?" 

"Okay. I'll be there at three." 
Thank God, Ma didn't answer the phone, 
JoJo thought. Oh shit! Now what an I 
gonna do? God, what am I gonna do? 

She told her mother she had to go to 
the library, had to do research for an Eng- 
lish paper that was due Monday. She'd for- 
gotten until just this minute. 

She .'sat in Page's Restaurant with a 
Coke in front of her. She was early. She 
waited, fidgeting. She was terrified. 
The Rebels W aiied out "Wild Weekend" on the 
jukebox. The saxophones and guitars as- 
saulted her ears. She had liked the tune 
before today. Now, she hated it. She 
smoked a Salem half down, stubbed it out in 
the ashtray, lit another, wiggled her leg, 
tapped ner toe, rubbed her face, nicked 
at an inflamed pinple, scratched her neck, 
v felt nauseous. 

Then, Marlene James entered. JoJo had 
never seen her before, but she recognized 
Lonnie's wife the minute she saw her— it 
night have been something in her face. An 
older lady trailed behind the sober-faced 
Marlene JoJo trembled, felt exquisitely 
alone . 

"Are you JoJo Montgomery?" 
"Y-yes," JoJo answered, clearing a 
lump in her throat. She began to shake. 
"I'm Marlene. This is my mother." 
They were ganging up on her, JoJo thought. 
She felt as though -any moment her air 
supply would be cut off — she was near 
■v to suffocating now. 

"H-hi," said JoJo. It seemed silly 
to say "Hi," as though one were meeting 



"An 



okc and 
aff-fair? 



That 
) coera — 



a new person at a school mixer. 
"Hi" belonged in a kids' world, r_.t 
in this very adult situation. 

Marlene and her mother sat down in 
the booth opposite JoJo. Marlene 
ordered for herself and her mother — 
coffee. She asked if JoJo would j_ike 
another Coke. No, no, thank you. 
. Two pairs of eyes bored through J' Jo's 
bones until the coffee cane. 

"Do you know a girl named Carol?" 
"Yes." 

"I think my hus"hand ± s having an^, 
affair with her . " 

JoJo choked on cigarette s 
coughed violently. Then, 
With Carol?" 
"Yes." 

"Oh no, that couldn't be. 
coulin't be." This was a so 
it couldn't be happening. 

"How well do you know this Carol?" 
She said "this" and ."Carol" like the 
words were tainted meat rotting 
in her mouth. 

"She's my best friend." 
"What's her last name?" 
"Carol's? Carol's last nane?' ; 
"Yes. Carol's last name." 
"He's not having an affair with 
Carol," said JoJo. "Affair" was a 
hard word for her to manage with any 
seriousness. It was an adult word 
from a whole other world. JoJo i aid it 
with difficulty. "He couldn't be. 
She wouldn't. I mean, she isn't . It 
isn't possible — maybe it's another 
Carol. Here . . • here," she dug into 
her -ourse. "Here's a picture of Carol. 

"That's her. Sure looks like the 
one that ' s been riding with him :m ""* 
the bus. Look, Ma." 

"It's her," said the mother, :..oddin 
"She rides the bus. We "Hot] , ride 
the bus. To— kill time, that's all. 
We ride with him all the time. We 
talk. That's all." 

"Well, Lon is_ having an affair. 
I'm sure of it." 

"Hot with Carol," JoJo's voice 
cracked. "She's only fifteen y_ars 
old. We just ride the bus." 

"Ask about the lighter," said the 
mother. 

"Yeah. This Carol gave Lon a silver 
lighter with his initials. You know 
anything about that?" 

"We both gave it to him. It was a 
Christmas present. Like you give to 
the mailman." 

"You give your mailman expensive 
silver lighters for Christmas?" 

"We never thought about the -^ice. 
We knew he needed one. So we bought 
it. It didn't mean anything. It vtis 
just a Christmas present." JoJo vss 
close to tears. 

Marlene James' expression char.~^d, 
as though she seemed to realize -fc&at 
she was only dealing with a couple 
of stupid kitfs. She ended the visit 



(continued) 



-26- 



?he End of the Line, continued 



/ 



\ 



"by saying, "You girls don't know what 
you're messing with. Lon's a married nan, 
and you're just a couple of silly . . . 
well, I'd watch my step if I were you." 

"Yes. Yes. You're right, Mrs. Janes. 
I'n sorry. I'n really sorry." 

When she got hone, Jo J- phoned Carol and 
tol<| her about the meeting". Carol 
laughed . *- • f .«"•.-* 

That' § so ridiculous. Me having an 
affair." 

"That's what I told her, Carol. I 
told her it was impossible. But, really, 
I was sooo scared. I nean, if ny Ma even 
sniffed any of this, I'd be dead "by now. 
This is probably the worst ness I've ever 
been in." 

"Yeah. But we didn't do anything." 

"Maybe not. But it was nore than 
just riding out bo the end of the line 
&nd talking. I nean, we wouldn't have 
ridden around with hin if he wasn't so 
cute. Or given the lighter. You know 
ihat." 

"I guess so." 

"Well— ah— " 

"Whatsanatter? Somebody there? ' 

"Yeah." 

"Your Ma?" 

"Yeah," said Jo Jo, adding in a whis- 
per, "in and out, in and .ut, you know." 
And then in a normal voice, she said, "It's 
close to suppertine. I guess I gotta go." 

"Yeah, okay. I'll see ya Monday." 

Carol hung up the phone. and .smiled. 
"Thanks, JoJo," she muttered. "I'll 
hafta be nore careful in the" future. No 
nore rides to the end of the line— on the 
bus, that is." She giggled. 



As Jo Jo lay in bed, she went ever 
it all again. She shuddered. His 
snile appeared — but blurry — as though 
recalled fron a dream of years ago* 
She heard hin say "Yeahhh." The word 
was a fuzzy echo. She tried to put 
his face together, tried to sea hin 
whole again, but she seemed to have 
forgotten sone of the features. Where 
was that face she had memorized so 
well? She tried again — and again*-. 
It was no use. She got the jawline 
wrong, the eyebrows too thin, the 
forehead too low. 

I've lost hin, she thought.' Ima- 
gine. He's fading away, and I don't 



really even care. Except 



it's 



kinda sad. Why? Maybe I didn't 
really love hin — that ' s a horrible 
thought. Of course I did. I loved 
him. I did . . . didn't I? 

The furnace clicked on. A. soft 7 
blowing hum breathed through the quiet 
house. The muffled buzz of her step- 
father's snoring down the hall seemed 
to repress— further and further away. 
Her heavy eyelids closed slowly . . . 

It was early 1963. John Kennedy was 
still president, although the tra 'edy 
was nearing. Now, however, the world 
was getting younger every day. People 
were talking about civil liberties and 
human dignity for the black nan. The 
Kingston Trio and Joan Baez climbed 
the charts. Soon, the Beatles would 
"invade". Arid John Lennon's Liverpool 
accent .would .break at least a nj ""-.lion 
hearts. 



####«#*% 



John Stobart 



/ VICTORY 

The sky was putrid pink, tinted a saf- 
, fron glaze and graced by dainty grey 
clouds. It was a night to worship the 
moons, none of which were visible, of 
course, but whose pollen permeated the 
Earth in a protective mantle, a sort of 
gossamer shroud repelling the sun's deadly 
rays and allowing the small band of ^arth- 
lin^s to rest days so that they had the 
c-nergy to bask in lunar light. 

Hydrangela was blooming. She lost 
count of the times she had felt the Earth 
tremble. Jlor lush lactations had lured 
legions of lover3, mostly Blacks and Sol- 
diers but also a platoon of Reds and one 



stray Fire to her bower. 

Such ecst'-sy was rare of course. 
The first in millenia for her, and pro- 
bably her last, now that the death rays 
had broken into the Pharoah's tomb °nd 
exposed her vital dormancy somo ten ■ 
thousand years after her burial. 

Ozymandius would have been sur- 
prised to find that only she, of his 
creatures, survived the victory of 
Arcturu 8 over on Earth. Her progeny 
would thrive, now, due to lack of com- 
petition from those crude photof*ynthe- 
tics who had been chlorophylled bo 
elephantine proportions, grass engulf inr 

(continued) 



-27- 



Victory, continued 



The Empire State Building in one day, the 
rain forests indescribably gross. Rydran- 
gela must be forever grateful to those 
■ stories that produced aillions of flouro- 
carbons that ultimately destroyed the ozone 
layers shielding Earth from the Sun's lethal 
rays. Then the silly plants Just O.D.-ed in 
^heir lust, and super-saturated themselves 
into a new shield as they grew beyond the 
troposphere in twenty-four hours, crystal- 
lized, and died—leaving a canopy that al- 
lowed Kydrangela Just the right blend of 
diffused sunlight and moonglow for a 
glorious orgy* 

For six nights she had spread her seed 
and now she planned to rest , but she knew 
that it was a good night to die. After all, 
she had cast her image bountifully on her .. 
world and performed magnificently the absolute- 
ly divine act of propagations to which every- 
thing was subordinate, really not even com- 
parable.} a difference in kind, not degree. 
She could rest now, knowing that she was the 
ar chetype of archetypes— Super Mom. The moons 
would do the rest. 

Little did she know that her fate had 
That last lover, the Fire. 

message had been sent 

hours before. 




Hordes of ants were savag- 
ing her babies who. after all, were a 
threat to the s^erior species,' the 
Fire Ants, vhogoust eliminate all suc- 
culents or ceJjTe to survive. "Ante 
nae-power 9 " jfpey chanted telepathic; •- 
iy as they Jseoured the desert for th , 
last traceJPof vegetation the planet 
afforaedyjjfTheir scout alone was less 
than ©syS&tic as he shared his breth- 

He thought, "Yes, indexed, 
fh^coiad be horrid, but when she w s 
4? e * she was so ve *T» very." 

But his memory ceils burned out 
in seconds and soon the Earth was se- 
^^^fc^^^^^^sky paled and re- 
r ^^*^^^^\^dnaturalJ* ,aW 
white. The Fire AntF'wlrf^c:^^ 
assured of ultimate suprer 
with only the vulnerable Bla 
and stupid soldiers to contend. 
jpjid. neither would survive now i 
the last vestige of. vegetation 
was gone. The Fires had sucee 
inl^their mission. Earth was n 
er hostile for Arcturan colonisation. 
The see^tt ground his mandibles : m- 
ticipation of the victory celebration 
that wouM follow. 



ith, 

Fit 

led 
ng- 



-28-